Rocky Mountain Power proposes increase in efficiency rider
Rocky Mountain Power is asking the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to allow the company to increase its rider on customer bills that pays for the utility’s energy efficiency programs. The commission is accepting comments on the proposal from customers through April 24.
The rider, currently set at 1.5 percent of the company’s retail revenue, would increase to 3.72 percent. If the commission were to approve that 2.2 percent increase, an average residential bill for the company’s eastern Idaho customers would increase by about $1.56 per month. Revenue collected from the rider must go directly to fund and administer energy efficiency programs and cannot be used for other purposes.
According to Rocky Mountain Power, the enhanced energy efficiency programs will offer information, services and cash incentives to help customers install energy efficient equipment or make permanent operational changes to reduce consumption and save money.
During 2007, programs funded by the rider produced 8,000 megawatt-hours of savings. With its proposed new and expanded programs, the company is hoping to achieve 13,140 MWh for each year over the next 20 years.
Rocky Mountain Power proposes these changes:
n Expanding the FinAnswer Express program, which provides incentives for commercial and industrial customers in the areas of efficient lighting, premium motors and mechanical upgrades to heating and cooling systems. Both new construction and retrofit projects are eligible. Rocky Mountain Power reports there is a waiting list of business customers wanting to participate.
n Adding the Energy FinAnswer program to its Idaho jurisdiction. Rocky Mountain Power, which operates as PacifiCorp in five other Western states, offers this program in other states. It would provide incentives and honorariums to builders of new construction projects that exceed current Idaho energy code by at least 10 percent.
n Modifying and updating the Irrigation Energy Savers program, which helps irrigators with system upgrades, including the installation of frequency drives on pumps that help them to operate more efficiently.
n Modifying the Home Energy Savings program to increase participation and align incentive levels with Idaho markets. The program provides incentives for residential customers for more efficient use of washing machines, dishwashers, water heaters, lighting, evaporative cooling, insulation and heat pumps.
Other programs funded by the rider that will continue without change are Refrigerator Recycling, Low-Income Weatherization Services and the Irrigation Load Control Credit Rider.
Customers can benefit in two ways from energy efficiency programs. Direct participation in these programs can reduce monthly bills. Also, all customers benefit when efficiency programs make it possible for utilities to reduce costs by not having to generate additional power or buy power from the market.
Those wishing to submit comments must do so by no later than April 24. Comments are accepted via e-mail by accessing the commission’s homepage at www.puc.idaho.gov and clicking on "Comments & Questions." Fill in the case number (PAC-E-08-01) and enter your comments. Comments can also be mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0074 or faxed to (208) 334-3762.
The company’s complete application, along with other documents related to the case, is available on the commission’s Web site. Click on “File Room, ” then on “Electric Cases” and scroll down to the above case number.