Idaho Public Utilities Commission
Case No. IPC-E-09-12, Order No. 30804
May 15, 2009
Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339, 890-2712
Utility proposes to expand air conditioner cycling program
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission is taking comments through June 9 on an application by Idaho Power Company to implement a conservation program that allows the company to remotely power down air conditioners in commercial buildings during times of peak summer demand when power is most expensive.
The company already has a similar program for residential customers. For the first two years the program will be available for up to 200 qualifying commercial customers in Ada and Canyon counties. The company will collect data from those two years before deciding whether to propose the program for its entire service territory.
If the program is approved, Idaho Power will install either a direct load control device or a programmable thermostat at participating customers’ facilities. During times or peak demand during June, July and August, Idaho Power will notify customers when it begins a “cycling event” during which the company can remotely cycle down air conditioning units. Cycling events may be up to four hours per day for up to 40 hours each month. Customers with the direct load control device would get a $7 credit each month, while those with the programmable, controllable thermostat would receive the thermostat free of charge.
Idaho Power proposes that the costs of the program – about $325,500 in 2009 and $340,800 – be paid from the Energy Efficiency Rider on customer bills. The rider is currently 2.5 percent of customer bills, but the company has an application before the commission to increase the rider to 4.75 percent. The commercial air conditioner cycling program would be just one of about 20 programs funded by the rider, which, in 2008 resulted in 58 megawatt hours of demand reduction, up from 48 MW in 2007. (One megawatt is one million watts, enough electricity to power about 650 average homes and light 10,000 100-watt light bulbs.) The energy efficiency programs included in the rider also resulted in 107,484 megawatt-hours of energy savings in 2008, a 72 percent increase over the 2007 total of 62,544 MWh.
Comments are accepted via e-mail through June 9 by accessing the commission’s homepage at www.puc.idaho.gov and clicking on "Comments & Questions." Fill in the case number (IPC-E-09-12) 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 www.puc.idaho.gov. Click on “File Room” and then on “Electric Cases” and scroll down to the above case number.