Idaho Power is looking to increase rates for its customers. Tuesday, it held a special meeting to address public concerns.
The meeting was conducted by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (IPUC). It laid out the reasons as to why you may be seeing a 12 percent increase on your monthly power bill, spread out over the next two years.
The last time an increase in the cost of power took place was in 2002.
“Every year water conditions are different,” said IPUC spokesperson Gene Fadness. “Every year fuel prices are different and market prices are different.”
About half the power we get is from hydroelectric power.
But with forecasted shortages, Idaho Power will have to turn to other sources that are more expensive.
“During those years when water is good and market and fuel prices are down,” Fadness said, “customers will get either a credit or a reduction in their surcharge.”
But in the coming year, Idaho Power customers will be seeing an increase.
If they split up the 12 percent increase over two years, the average household will see an additional $7 on their bill.
“So it’s a significant increase, which is one of the reasons we’re doing these workshops,” said Fadness. “We want to hear from customers and to help explain the company’s surcharge process.”
This increase is all part of the Power Cost Adjustment that Idaho Power has done every year on June 1 since 1993.
The utility says it needs the higher rate to cover over $140 million in additional expenses.
The IPUC said it’s very important to try and conserve energy.
There are several ways to reduce your power usage. Turn off lights and unplug electronics. If you leave your cellphone charger plugged in, that still uses electricity, even if it’s not in use.
If you were unable to attend tonight’s meeting, there are still two additional meetings you can attend.
One is in Twin Falls on Wednesday, May 1, at the City Council Chambers, 305 Third Ave. East; and the other is in Boise on May 8 at the PUC hearing room, 472 W. Washington St. Both the workshops begin at 7 p.m.