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Idaho Power wins two rate adjustments

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BOISE, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK)-Idaho Power Company customers got some arguably good news to end 2020.   The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has approved an application from the utility to decrease customer rates by 0.33%, based on the closure of the Boardman Power Plant in north-central Oregon.   

The company was also granted a separate application that will increase the collection percentage of the energy efficiency rider in the company’s tariff schedule.  That measure will increase rates for an average residential customer by about $3.50 per year, or $.29 per month. 

Taken together, Idaho Power Company’s average residential customer's rates will decrease by about two cents a month.  The changes take effect January 1, 2021.

Here are the details:

The Boardman plant is a pulverized-coal plant that started service in 1980.  It consists of a single generating unit.   Idaho Power owns a 58.5 megawatt, 10% interest in the plan.  The plant was scheduled to stop operating on October 31, 2020.

According to the IPUC, in February 2012, the public utilities commission authorized Idaho Power to establish a balancing account to track the incremental costs and benefits for an early shutdown of Boardman. The balancing account was intended to “stabilize customer rates and increase the likelihood that the customers who benefit from Boardman’s continuing operation will pay the associated costs.”

Idaho Power said the balancing account was originally composed of all plant investments as of May 31, 2012, which included actual investments through Dec. 31, 2011, and forecasted investments from Jan. 1, 2012, through May 31, 2012, projected additions to Boardman from June 2012 through 2020 and estimated decommissioning and salvage costs. This application reflects actual costs through June 30, 2020. The commission finds the additional investments necessary and prudent.

In the second case, Idaho Power submitted a separate application to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission in August seeking approval to increase the collection percentage of the energy efficiency rider outlined in Tariff Schedule 91 from 2.75 percent of customer base rates to 3.10 percent of base rates.

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