Idaho Public Utilities Commission
Case No. ATL-E-08-02, Order No. 30704
December 24, 2008
Contact: Gene Fadness: (208)334-0339, 890-2712
New Atlanta Power rates take effect Jan. 1
State regulators have approved an average 14.55 percent increase for customers of Atlanta Power Co. that becomes effective Jan. 1. Atlanta Power requested a 55 percent increase. The company was also allowed to continue assessing customers a surcharge to pay for the 2007 failure of the company’s only hydroelectric turbine, but lowered the surcharge from 33.6 percent to 28.9 percent.
The increase means the approximate 75 customers in the Elmore County community will pay a monthly customer charge of $92.79, up from the current $81. They’ll also be charged 5.7 cents per every kWh used beyond 500 kWh per month. That’s up from 5 cents per kWh beyond 500 kWh. Combining the monthly rate and the surcharge, a residential customer using up to 500 kWh per month will pay $119.60 per month, up from $108.21.
The utility sought to increase its annual revenue requirement to $113,045, a 55 percent increase. The commission approved an annual revenue requirement of $83,680.
Many of Atlanta Power’s expenses were denied due to its failure to properly document them. “…. We acknowledge a regulatory responsibility to customers to hold the utility to a businesslike standard in maintaining its accounting and business records and to require adequate and sufficient records and receipts as a condition of authorized expense recovery,” the commission said. “In 1988, we found it unacceptable to allow the company to dispense with records and leave ratepayers to the ‘trust me’ representations of utility management,” the commission said. “Such a position by the company is no more acceptable today under new management.”
The surcharge must be cancelled when the company’s expenses related to the turbine repair are paid and must be listed as a separate line item on customer bills, the commission said.
The order further directs changes in the company’s recordkeeping, requires improvements in customer notification, establishes a returned-check charge and late payment fee, and, to stabilize revenue, approves a reconnection charge equivalent to about four times the monthly customer charge. Many of Atlanta Power’s customers are seasonal customers who disconnect when leaving and reconnect when they return.
The entire order is available on the Commission Web site at www.puc.idaho.gov. Click on the electric icon, then on “Open Electric Cases,” and scroll down to Case No. ATL-E-08-02. Copies can also be requested by writing the commission at P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID, 83720 or calling (208) 334-0300.