Idaho Public Utilities Commission

Case No. C10-E-09-01, Order No. 30733

February 26, 2009

Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339, 890-2712



Commission commends northern Idaho utility


The Idaho Public Utilities Commission is commending a northern Idaho utility for making good use of unclaimed customer deposits.


Northern Lights, Inc. is a rural electric cooperative based in Sagle that serves more than 19,000 customers in northern Idaho, western Montana and northeastern Washington. Though the commission does not regulate electric cooperatives, Northern Lights wanted to donate $3,500 in unclaimed customer deposits to a financial assistance program that must be certified by the commission.


State law requires that utilities with unclaimed customer deposits to forward the deposits to the state’s unclaimed property fund. However, a utility may give the unclaimed deposits to a “financial assistance program,” if the program is certified by the Public Utilities Commission.


Northern Lights chose the Community Action Partnership Association of Idaho to receive the money. That agency distributes federal LIHEAP (Low Income Energy Assistance Program) funds to customers in northern Idaho.


“We commend Northern Lights for taking this action to assist its customers,” the commission said. “We encourage other public utilities and electric cooperatives to follow Northern Lights’ lead.”