Idaho Public Utilities Commission
Case No. IPC-E-12-15, Order No. 32569
June 15, 2012
Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339, 890-2712
Comment deadline extended in Idaho Power case
Regulators are extending the comment deadline in Idaho Power Company’s request that the commission declare as “prudent” the expenditures the utility made during 2011 for energy conservation programs.
The comment deadline is extended to June 25, following a request by the Industrial Customers of Idaho Power.
An order by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission declaring the $42.64 million in expenses as prudently incurred does not impact rates, but allows the 20 conservation programs to be continued for funding in the 4 percent Energy Efficiency Rider currently on customer bills. Seventeen of the programs offer customers incentives to use their energy more efficiently while three of the programs reduce demand on the company’s system by shifting energy use to off-peak times of the day.
To be continued, the programs must pass three cost efficiency tests that demonstrate that savings from the programs are greater than the programs’ costs. One of the tests must reflect a savings to all customers, not just those who directly participate in the energy efficiency programs. Energy used more efficiently or demand reduced lessens the need for Idaho Power to have to generate the power itself or acquire it from most costly resources, and it offsets the need for the utility to build new resources.
Contrary to assertions made by some, the commission would like to clarify that neither the company nor the commission are endorsing a reduction in energy efficiency programs. As long as the Energy Efficiency Rider is in place, it is up to the utilities to ensure that cost-effective energy efficiency and demand-side management programs are in place.
During 2011, Idaho Power achieved 179,424 megawatt-hours of energy savings, or enough energy to service more than 12,900 average homes for a year. Some of the efficiency programs include financial incentives for customers to invest in efficient lighting, in Energy Star® products and heating and cooling efficiencies. The three demand reduction programs, such as air conditioner cycling and irrigation load control, provided a total demand reduction of 403 megawatts, a 20 percent increase over 2010 levels.
Independent third-party consultants provide impact and process evaluations to verify that program specifications are met, recommend improvements to the programs and validate energy savings.
One of the 17 energy efficiency programs to provide incentives for the addition of attic insulation in residential homes was determined to not be cost-effective. To make it cost-effective, Idaho Power is proposing it only for electrically heated homes and adding measures beyond ceiling insulation.
Idaho Power’s annual report regarding the programs is available on the commission’s website at www.puc.idaho.gov Click on the electric icon, then on “Open Electric Cases,” scroll down to Case No. IPC-E-12-15 and click on “DSM 2011 Annual Report.”
Comments are accepted from the commission website, clicking on "Comments & Questions About a Case." Fill in the case number (IPC-E-12-15) and enter your comments. Comments can also be mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0074 or faxed to (208) 334-3762.