Customers of Idaho Power Company who generate some of their own electricity may soon fall under a new rate structure.
The utility and Idaho Public Utilities Commission staff have filed a settlement agreement on the compensation structure for residential and small general service customers with on-site generation Those customers may generate some of their own energy, most commonly using roof-top solar panels. That on-site generation is sometimes referred to as net metering.
For months, Idaho Power has been discussing the issue with several parties, including the Idaho PUC, Sierra Club, Idaho Clean Energy Association, City of Boise, Idaho Irrigation Pumpers and others. They’ve been trying to evaluate compensation structures for customers who export energy to the Idaho Power system.
If approved by the IPUC as filed, the settlement will result in the following changes for residential (Schedule 6) and small general service (Schedule 8) customers with on-site generation:
Energy delivered from, or exported to, Idaho Power’s system will now be measured on a net hourly basis, rather than net monthly. This will allow for a more accurate measurement of both the energy delivered from and exported to Idaho Power.
When customers generate more energy than they consume during the hour, they will be credited at a new rate, rather than the full retail rate they are receiving now. The new rate will initially be set at approximately 8.7 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for Schedule 6 and 10.2 cents per kWh for Schedule 8, effective January 1, 2020.
New and existing customers with on-site generation (unless exempted by IPUC order) will be transitioned to the new pricing structure in four separate increments over an eight-year period. These adjustments are expected to occur in 2022, 2024, 2026 and 2028. The final credit rate to become effective in 2028 has initially been estimated at 4.4 cents per kWh for Schedule 6 and 4.9 cents per kWh for Schedule 8 customers. This final credit rate will be reviewed and validated in conjunction with Idaho Power’s Integrated Resource Planning process throughout the transition period and is subject to change after separate IPUC proceedings.
Idaho Power will provide a ” non-export option ” for customers who wish to interconnect to Idaho Power’s grid without exporting excess energy back to Idaho Power.
At this time, the proposal is subject to public review and ultimate approval by the PUC. You can learn more details about the plan here.
Addition: This story was amended to correctly reflect the settlement agreement involved the Idaho Public Utilities Commission ” staff ” and Idaho Power.