Idaho Public Utilities Commission

Case No. INT-G-09-03, Order No. 30979

January 15, 2010

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



Workshop set to address snowmelt issues


A proposal by Intermountain Gas Company to temporarily interrupt service to new snowmelt customers during periods when natural gas is in short supply will be the topic of a workshop in Boise on Feb. 4.


Natural-gas fired snow-melting equipment, installed under driveways and on rooftops, uses an inordinate amount of natural gas compared to more conventional uses. During days when natural gas is at peak use, snow-melt use competes with other customers for the finite amount of available natural gas than can flow through Intermountain’s distribution system, potentially degrading service to other customers.


Intermountain Gas proposes to manually or remotely turn off the meters of customers who use natural gas-fired snow-melting equipment during times when use of natural gas supply is peaking. The interruptions, which the company says will be short in duration, would apply only to new snowmelt customers. Existing customers who have snowmelt equipment can volunteer to be interrupted. In exchange for the interruption, new snowmelt customers and volunteering existing customers would pay a lower rate.


The proposal has raised a number of questions from the commission and parties who have commented in the case, prompting the scheduled workshop with company representatives and any other interested parties or customers on Feb. 4 at 9:30 a.m. in the commission hearing, 472 W. Washington St.


The workshop is open to the public.


Documents related to this case are available on the commission’s Web site at Click on “File Room” and then on “Gas Cases” and scroll down to INT-G-09-03.