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Rocky Mountain Power net billing workshop set tonight

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Rocky Mountain Power

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK)-The Idaho Public Utilities Commission is holding a workshop tonight on Rocky Mountain Power’s proposal to change how its net-metering customers are compensated.

A telephonic public hearing for customers is scheduled Monday at 3 p.m. (see instructions below)

Net billing refers to a system of billing a customer who installs a renewable energy generator for retail electricity purchased at retail rates and crediting the customer’s bill for the electricity produced.  Theoretically, that renewable electricity helps lower the utility’s expense for power through avoided cost.

Rocky Mountain Power’s original application was filed June 19, 2019.  Now, the utility wants to close its current program as of July 31, 2020.  Existing net metering customers would be “grandfathered” until July 31 2030. 

A new schedule would compensate customers for exported energy at an export credit rate, rather than the retail rate. Rocky Mountain Power estimates that the current retail rate paid to Schedule 135 customers is about 12.5 cents per kilowatt-hour and the proposed export credit rate for Schedule 136 is 2.4 cents per kilowatt-hour.

According to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, Rocky Mountain Power also wants to charge customers a one-time, non-refundable application fee of $85.  The changes to the net metering program, including the proposed export credit rate, will be analyzed by the company in a comprehensive study that examines the costs and benefits of net metering. The study process will be conducted in two steps: a study design phase and study review phase, with opportunities for public input during both phases.

In earlier testimony, Rocky Mountain Power claimed the current net metering system unfairly shifts costs to non-net metering customers in Idaho.

“The present retail rate design collects 89 percent of the fixed costs to serve customers through the kilowatt-hour or energy charge, resulting in a net metering program that fails to cover the true costs of providing the service,” said Rocky Mountain Power Vice-President Joelle Steward. “These costs include maintaining and operating the electric network, billing and other customer service functions separate from the energy provided. As a result, those costs are shifted to other customers who have not chosen to generate their own power. Compensation at the retail rate for generation exported to the grid is significantly more expensive than other sources of power available for our customers.”

A workshop on the proposed changes to the net metering program will be held today (June 18) from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The Commission updated its platform subscription to allow more participants and updated log-in and dial-in credentials to be more user friendly.

Those interested in participating can access the virtual public workshop two ways:

  1.  Online: go to and enter the number 133 265 3962.

At the next window, enter your name, e-mail address, and the password ThursdayMeeting

  • By phone: dial 1-415-655-0001 and enter access code 133 265 3962

The public workshop is intended to allow Commission Staff to discuss its preliminary views of the Supplemental Application, as reflected in Staff’s preliminary comments filed on May 26, 2020, and to receive feedback from the public. See Order No. 34661. 

A telephonic public customer hearing will be held on Monday, June 22, at 3:00 p.m. (MDT). Those wishing to offer verbal comments or listen can dial 1-800-920-7487, and enter passcode 6674832#.

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