Idaho Public Utilities Commission

Case No. INT-G-10-04, Order No. 32139

December 22, 2010

www.puc.idaho.gov

Contact: Gene Fadness 208 334.0339 office; 890-2712, cell.

 

PUC accepts Intermountain Gas planning document

 

State regulators have accepted a five-year planning document submitted by Intermountain Gas Company that forecasts an annual increase of 1.75 percent in the company’s peak-day gas loads through 2015.

 

Intermountain Gas, like other regulated utilities, is required to file the plan, called an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. The plan anticipates conditions over the next five years and includes resource selections and the process for making resource decisions. The public is to be offered opportunities to provide input into the planning process.

 

The commission accepted the plan, but said Intermountain Gas should make a greater effort at involving the public. The utility should provide “appropriate notice to city and county leaders as part of the process, especially in the Idaho Falls and Rexburg areas,” which are experiencing high growth, the commission said. The commission is concerned that a new portable Liquid Natural Gas facility near Rexburg is not sufficient to encourage and support new business ventures in that area.

 

Rexburg is on the Idaho Falls Lateral that extends from north from Pocatello to St. Anthony and represents 15 percent of the company’s customer base. To meet customer demand during peak periods, the company said it can switch its industrial customers to fuel oil. During 2009, 41.2 percent of the throughput on Intermountain’s system was attributable to industrial sales and transportation. Peak-day delivery deficits can also be managed, the company said, by bringing in gas from the new Rexburg Liquefied Natural Gas facility.

 

The Sun Valley Lateral, which serves about 4 percent of Intermountain’s Idaho customers, will require a future upgrade to the existing pipeline system to meet growth in that area, the IRP states.

 

The Idaho Conservation League filed comments, stating that Intermountain needs to encourage more conservation and efficiency programs to avoid building new infrastructure and to mitigate price volatility in natural gas markets.

 

In its order, the commission said Intermountain should consider conservation programs that “have the potential to be cost-effective in promoting and enticing energy savings.”

Acceptance of the plan by the commission does not mean that the projects in the plan are approved, only that the company has met its obligation to file the document.

 

Intermountain Gas serves about 305,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers throughout southern Idaho.

 

Copies of the commission’s order and Intermountain’s Integrated Resource Plan are available on the commission Web site at www.puc.idaho.gov. Click on the gas icon, then on “Open Gas Cases,” and scroll down to Case No. INT-G-10-04.