Case No. IPC-E-05-28

January 17, 2006

Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339




Workshops planned across state in Idaho Power rate case


Staff from the Idaho Public Utilities Commission will conduct informal workshops in Boise, Pocatello and Twin Falls later this month regarding Idaho Power’s request for a 7.8 percent rate increase.


Workshops are scheduled for Jan. 23 in Boise, Jan 24 in Pocatello and Feb. 1 in Twin Falls.


If Idaho Power’s request is approved, the bill for an average residential customer who uses 1,200 kilowatt-hours per month would increase from $74.23 to $79.18. During the months of June, July and August, when the company’s higher summer rate is in effect, the proposed increase would be from $80.22 per month to $85.38.


The purpose of the workshop is to explain the reasons behind Idaho Power’s request and the commission’s role in determining how much of an increase, if any, to grant. At the end of a presentation by commission staff, time will be allowed for questions. The commission will also conduct formal public hearings on dates yet to be announced.


Idaho Power maintains that the overall rate of return and return on equity established by the commission during the company’s 2003-04 rate case are no longer reasonable given the company’s increased operating costs. In that case, the commission granted Idaho Power an approximate 6 percent increase. The company had requested 17.7 percent and later revised its request to 14.5 percent.


Additional revenue of $44 million per year is needed, Idaho Power asserts, if it is to maintain a stable financial condition and continue to render adequate service to its approximately 450,000 customers. The company estimates its yearly operating costs at $606 million.


Part of the proposed 7.8 percent increase, is Idaho Power’s request to increase its monthly service charge for residential and small-commercial customers from the current $3.30 per month to $6. For large-commercial and industrial customers, the service charge would increase from $5.60 to $12 per month.


The workshop schedule is as follows:


n      Boise, Monday, Jan. 23, 7 p.m. at the Public Utilities Commission hearing room, 472 W. Washington St.

n      Pocatello, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 7 p.m., at City Hall, 911 N. 7th St.

n      Twin Falls, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 7 p.m., City Hall, 305 Third Ave. East.