Idaho Public Utilities Commission

Case No. IPC-E-10-46, Order No. 32158

January 18, 2011

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



Idaho Power proposes changes to irrigation load control program


The Idaho Public Utilities Commission is taking comments through Feb. 9 on an application by Idaho Power Company to make changes to a voluntary load control program offered irrigation customers.


Under the program, Idaho Power turns off specified irrigation pumps during peak load times between June 15 and August 15. In exchange for allowing the company to interrupt service, participating irrigators receive a monthly monetary payment in the form of a credit on June, July and August bills.


Idaho Power wants to expand the hours of interruption from the current 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. to 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Customers who accept an extended interruption period will receive a higher payment, according to the company’s application.  Idaho Power also wants to change the incentive payment structure from a fixed payment to a combination of fixed and variable payments. The fixed payment is one that pays customers simply for participating while the variable portion would be based on how much the company uses the program.


The company contends that, if not for the program, growing summer peak loads would likely require the construction of additional natural gas peaker plants, similar to those near Mountain Home. The plants are used only a few hours each year when demand on Idaho Power’s system reaches or nears capacity. That is typically during the summer months when irrigation and air conditioning is at peak use.


The commission plans to handle this request in a modified procedure that uses written comments rather than conducting a hearing, unless customer comments can demonstrate a need for a public hearing. Comments are accepted via e-mail by accessing the commission’s homepage at and clicking on "Comments & Questions About a Case." Fill in the case number (IPC-E-10-46) 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.