Commission continues funding of weatherization program
State regulators have approved a joint application by Idaho Power Co. and the Community Action Partnership Association of Idaho (CAPAI) to extend a weatherization assistance program for low-income customers and non-profit organizations.
After Idaho Power’s 2004 rate case, the Idaho Public Utilities Commission approved a request by CAPAI to increase the company’s annual investment for weatherization from $200,000 to $1.2 million for the years 2004 to 2007. The commission said it would consider renewal of the Weatherization Assistance for Qualified Customers (WAQC) program in 2007 after reviewing reports of the program’s progress.
During the last three years, the program has saved more than 6 million kilowatt-hours, according to commission staff. Staff also determined that the savings-to-investment ratio per home (including the cost of health and safety measures) is about $2 for every $1 spent. “The program has demonstrated that it is a cost-effective means of implementing conservation measures and promoting energy efficiency,” the commission said.
According to annual reports filed by Idaho Power, the number of buildings weatherized under the program was 264 in 2004, 570 in 2005 and 540 in 2006.
AARP-Idaho and the Idaho Community Action Network filed comments in the case, both endorsing extension of the program.
Commission staff also recommended that Idaho Power use the weatherization program as a vehicle to deliver other conservation programs to qualifying customers such as compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs and efficient appliances. The commission adopted a staff recommendation that the company develop a tariff that would more easily allow community action agencies and the public to obtain information about the program. The tariff would include eligibility requirements, allowable energy conservation measures and a description of the program’s structure.
A full text of the commission’s order, along with other documents related to this case, are available on the commission’s Web site at www.puc.idaho.gov Click on “File Room” and then on “Electric Cases” and scroll down to Case Number IPC-E-07-09.