Idaho Public Utilities Commission
Case No. IPC-E-11-24, Order No. 32472
March 6, 2012
Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339, 890-2712
Commission OKs changes to Idaho Power line extension tariff
All overhead costs related to new service attachments for Idaho Power customers will be paid by the customers requesting the construction, according to an order recently issued by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission.
The commission’s order removes a 1.5 percent cap on the amount Idaho Power can collect on its “Rule H tariff” in overhead expense for new service. After charging 1.5 percent of overhead costs to the new customers, the rest of the expense was included in rates paid by the general body of ratepayers.
The commission’s order is an effort by both the company and regulators to shift more of costs related to growth to the cost-causers. “We have repeatedly stated that customers requesting Rule H line extensions should bear the costs of those extensions,” the commission said. “By requiring customers who request services to pay for the costs of those services, it relieves one area of upward pressure on rates.”
Currently, the Rule H tariff provides that overhead costs, such as pay and expenses for engineering supervisors and administrative workers, be pooled and recouped through an assessment placed on line extension work orders. The tariff caps the collection for overhead at 1.5 percent. The rest of the current overhead rate of 17.5 percent (or 15.5 percent) was included in base rates for all customers. The updated tariff, effective March 15, increases the overhead rate to from 17.5 percent to 21.5 percent and allocates the entire cost to customers requesting the extension.
Idaho Power sought to have the overhead rate adjusted monthly if needed to balance the company’s overhead account. The commission did not approve the monthly change, but said the company could update its overhead rate each year as it updates other Rule H-related expenses.
A full text of the commission’s order, along with other documents related to this case, is available on the commission’s Web site at www.puc.idaho.gov. Click on “File Room” and then on “Electric Cases” and scroll down to Case No. IPC-E-11-24.
Interested parties may petition the commission for reconsideration by no later than March 20. Petitions for reconsideration must set forth specifically why the petitioner contends that the order is unreasonable, unlawful or erroneous. Petitions should include a statement of the nature and quantity of evidence the petitioner will offer if reconsideration is granted. Petitions can be delivered to the commission at 472 W. Washington St. in Boise, mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID, 83720-0074, or faxed to 208-334-3762.