Idaho Public Utilities Commission
Case No. INT-G-09-01, Order No. 30857
July 10, 2009
Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339, 890-2712
Intermountain Gas seeks hook-up fee for some new Sun Valley customers
Intermountain Gas Company is asking state regulators to approve a new hook-up fee for some new natural gas customers in the Sun Valley and Ketchum areas.
The hook-up fee would pay for a $640,000 upgrade of the northern end of the Sun Valley Lateral by increasing the allowable operating pressure on that segment of the pipeline. Intermountain claims the Sun Valley Lateral is currently operating at capacity.
The hook-up fee, if approved by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, would be assessed only to new customers in the impact area whose use exceeds the company’s average peak-day demand of 15.5 therms per day. The defined impact area includes those customers north of Gimlet Road, excluding the Gimlet Subdivision. Ninety-seven percent of the demand is contained within the last 15 miles (northern end) of the 68-mile lateral, according to the company.
The amount of the fee would be determined by the amount of each new customer’s peak-day consumption needs. If the calculation exceeds 15.5 therms per day, the customer would be charged for that excess multiplied by $40, the cost per therm to add 16,000 therms of distribution capacity to the pipeline. For example, a 4,000 square-foot residential home with a projected peak use of 36 therms (20.5 therms over the 15.5 average day use x 40) would pay a hook-up fee of $820, under the company’s proposal.
The company maintains that the customers who will be subject to the proposed hook-up fee will be the same new customers causing the need for, and who directly benefit from, the distribution upgrade. Without the fee, customers who do not directly benefit from the upgrade would be subsidizing it, according to Intermountain Gas. Intermountain’s earnings would not increase as a result of the proposed hook-up fee.
Intermountain Gas requested an effective date of July 15 for the new fee, but the commission suspended the effective date for up to six months to allow time to investigate the case. Interested parties who want to petition for intervention in the case for the purpose of presenting evidence and cross-examining witnesses must file a Petition to Intervene by no later than July 24.
Others who want to provide comment, but who do not seek intervention status, may submit written comments at any time.
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 (INT-G-09-01) and enter your comments. Comments can also be mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0074 or faxed to (208) 334-3762.
A full text of the commission’s order, along with other documents related to this case, is available on the commission’s Web site. Click on “File Room” and then on “Gas Cases” and scroll down to the above case number.