Idaho Public Utilities Commission

Case No. IPC-E-08-12, Order No. 30582

June 30, 2008

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



Air condition cycling program may expand to air base


Idaho Power Company is seeking permission from state regulators to expand its air conditioner cycling program to Mountain Home Air Force Base.


During 2007, about 13,600 customers in Idaho Power’s service territory volunteered to participate in the program which allows Idaho Power to cycle residents’ air conditioners from a remote location. Customers receive a $7 per month credit for participating.


The program is not yet available through all of Idaho Power’s service territory. The company is asking the Public Utilities Commission to approve an agreement it made with the Mountain Home Air Force Base to include the approximate 1,100 residences on the base. Because the base is a single customer with multiple residences, the agreement provides for a cumulative credit on the Air Force base’s September bill at the end of the air conditioning season.


Idaho Power installs a direct load control device at the homes of volunteer customers. With that device, the company can cycle air conditioners on and off during periods of peak demand. Customers should not notice a significant difference in the overall temperature of their homes and can discontinue participation in the program at any time.


The program helps reduce demand on the company’s system during those times when demand is at its peak and electricity is most expensive. That reduced use, in turn, reduces the amount of electricity the company has to buy from the wholesale market or generate from its peaking plants during heavy-use periods, contributing to a smaller Power Cost Adjustment surcharge filed by the company in the spring. Participation in the air conditioner cycling program reduced demand by 10.8 megawatts during last July. One megawatt is enough energy to power roughly 650 homes.


The commission is taking comments on the company’s application through July 16. Comments are accepted via e-mail by accessing the commission’s homepage at and clicking on "Comments & Questions." Fill in the case number (IPC-E-08-12) 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, is available on the commission’s Web site at Click on “File Room” and then on “Electric Cases” and scroll down to the above case number.