Idaho Power seeks approval of Emmett area programs
Boise – Idaho Power Company wants to make permanent pilot programs in the Emmett and Letha areas that permit customers to shift their energy use away from peak periods of the day through the use of advanced meter readers.
The programs, Time-of-Use and Energy Watch, have been available to a limited number customers who volunteered to participate and have advanced meter readers installed. The company is now seeking approval from the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to make the programs permanently available to customers in the Emmett and Letha areas.
Advanced meter readers (AMR) provide the company and customer with hourly meter readings and can be read from a remote location.
Under the Energy Watch Pilot Program, volunteer customers of Idaho Power pay a substantially increased rate of 20 cents per kWh for energy they consume during declared Energy Watch periods. Participating customers are notified by telephone or e-mail by 4 p.m. the day before an Energy Watch period, which can occur on any weekday between the hours of 5 to 9 p.m. between June 15 and August 15. During all the other hours in that two-month period, participating customers pay a lower non-summer rate of 5.425 cents per kWh. Customers not on the Energy Watch program pay 6.1 cents per kWh on use of 300 kWh or more during summer months. Energy Watch periods will occur on no more than 10 days from June 15 to August 15 for a total of 40 hours.
The Time-of-Day Pilot Program allows volunteers to shift their use to off-peak periods when the rate is lower. There are three different rates available to customers on this program during on-peak (8.33 cents per kWh), mid-peak (6.1 cents) and off-peak (4.514 cents) periods of the day from June 1 through Aug. 31.
Idaho Power Co. filed reports with the commission regarding customer response during the last two years both Energy Watch and Time-of-Day were in effect as pilot programs. Overall, participating customers were satisfied, the company reports, and, on average, saved money and reduced household energy demand.
The company anticipates these programs will be expanded to a wider area of its service territory once advanced meter reading capability is extended.
The commission will take public comment on Idaho Power’s proposal through April 5. 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-07-05) and enter your comments. Comments can also be mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0074 or faxed to (208) 334-3762.
A full text of the commission’s order, along with other documents related to this case, are available on the commission’s Web site. Click on “File Room” and then on “Electric Cases” and scroll down to the above case number.