March 9, 2006

IDAHO PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION

Case No. IPC-E-05-28

Notice of Settlement, Request for Public Comment

Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339

Website: www.puc.idaho.gov

 

Parties propose settlement in Idaho Power rate case

 

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission is seeking public comment and announcing public hearings regarding a proposed settlement between Idaho Power and all the intervening parties in the company’s rate case.

 

The settlement parties have proposed a 3.2 percent increase for Idaho Power. Last October, Idaho Power requested a 7.8 percent increase to collect $44 million in additional annual revenue. The proposed settlement allows an $18 million increase in the company’s annual revenue requirement and a rate of return of 8.1 percent. The average residential bill would increase by about $2.25 per month if the settlement were approved.

 

Parties participating in the settlement discussions included Idaho Power Co., commission staff, the Idaho Irrigation Pumpers Association, the Industrial Customers of Idaho Power, Micron Technology, U.S. Department of Energy, Northwest Energy Coalition and the Kroger Company. The parties say the settlement represents a compromise of their positions and urge the commission to accept the settlement in its entirety.

 

The proposal is that the 3.2 percent base rate increase be applied equally to all major customer classes.

 

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 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.

 

Included in the proposed 3.2 percent increase is an increase in Idaho Power’s monthly service charge for residential and small-commercial customers from the current $3.30 per month to $4. The company originally sought a $6 monthly customer service charge.

 

The commission is inviting written comment on the proposed settlement. Those wishing to submit comments must do so by no later than March 30. Comments are accepted via e-mail by accessing the commission’s homepage at www.puc.idaho.gov and clicking on "Comments & Questions." Fill in the case number (IPC-E-05-28) and enter your comments. Comments can also be mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0074 or faxed to (208) 334-3762.

 

Those who would rather present their views in person may do so at public hearings scheduled in Boise, Twin Falls and Pocatello. The hearing schedule is as follows:

 

n      Boise, April 11, 7 p.m. at the Public Utilities Commission hearing room, 472 W. Washington St.

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

n      Twin Falls, April 25, 7 p.m., City Hall, 305 Third Ave. East.

 

A technical hearing is also schedule for April 11 at 9:30 a.m. at the commission hearing room, 472 Washington St.