Tracking code caldwell guardian

Monday, November 21, 2011

Geezer Group Talks Turkey Over Raising Rates

By David R. Frazier November 21, 2011

Taking advantage of the paucity of news during the holiday week, the old timers at ARRP have issued a press release aimed at the electricity and water providers who want more cash for their current.

With Thanksgiving just days away, AARP Idaho has released the hotly anticipated winners of this first annual Gem State Turkey  Award - and the winners are Idaho Power, Rocky Mountain Power and United Water.  The utility companies were cited for their attempts to press through a combined $122 million in rate hikes on Idaho consumers, as many , including the state's 50+ year old people struggle in a difficult economy.

"We couldn't find better recipients for the first annual Gem State Turkey Award - asking consumers to keep paying more in this economy is move worthy of recognition." said Jim Wordelman, State Director of AARP in Idaho.  "These  rate hike proposals are in real turkeys in this Thanksgiving, and AARP is  calling on the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to ensure they don't fly."

The Turkey Award "winners" - Idaho Power is looking to sock state consumers with $83MM in rate hikes, resulting in the average residential consumer's bill skyrocketing by nearly 9% in addition to a $1/month  increase in customer's service charge (bringing in an additional $500k to the company).   A non-binding settlement agreement between the company and the interevenues (none representing residential consumers) in the rate hike case, currently before the Idaho PUC, still calls for $34 million in rate hikes,, hitting the typical residential consumer with a 4.19 higher monthly energy bills.

- Mountain Power  has a $32.7 MM    rate hike before the PUC, which will mean Idaho consumers would see their monthly power bills climb by 7.2%, their non-binding settlement agreement with groups again facing a residential consumers voice, provides the company with a $34 million in rate hikes over two years, hammering consumers with an 11.23 hike in their monthly bills.

- United Water is turning to the PUC for approval of  $7.6 million in rate hikes with an alarming 20 increase in monthly bills.

"I'm betting the overwhelming majority of Idahoans didn't  get a 7%, 9% or 20% raise or cost of living increase last year, and neither should the utility companies", said Wordelman.


  1. What I don't get is Caldwell's buying up a huge amount of heavy road equipment when they are supposed to be broke. A motor grader, two new dump trucks, two new heavy duty F-250 pickup trucks and god only knows what else is on the menu.

  2. I thought all that green power (wind, solar, waste to energy) that the company's are buying would help lower my bill and I could feel good at the same time. Wasn't explained that it would make my pocketbook very uncomfortable

  3. Not necessarily, PURPA rates determine what is paid for green power and other alternatives. Recently, with the drop in natural gas PURPA rates are in the neighborhood of $0.06/KWH. This makes it even cheaper for Idaho Power to buy electricity generated from solar and other sources. We don't understand the request for a rate increase when IPC profits are UP about $40 Million from last year this same time. We can only hope the Idaho Public Utilities Commission does their due diligence in this matter.

  4. Idaho Power provides some of the cheapest rates in the nation. Do they make a profit? Of course they do, or why would they be in business? As a regulated monopoly, they are allowed to make 9.2% over their operating costs to bring you reliable electricity. In exchange, they vow to keep the power flowing to homes and businesses - no matter what the cost to shareholders (most of which are pension funds such as PERSI and everyday Idahoans). Am I a shill for IPower? No! I am a business journalist that covered IDACORP Inc.and the IPUC for a decade. Quit whining and look to the government agencies (and Urban Renewal) for causing the cost of living around here to go sky high.

  5. Must be some sort of sweetheart deal then between Idaho Power and Dynamis. Just announced they had signed an agreement to purchase power from the waste to energy plant in Ada county and price to be paid was 92.35/mwhr--which however you cut it means my power bill will go UP

  6. The Dynamis deal at $92.35/mwh is over three times the going rate on the energy market posted on Bloomberg Energy This deal, if true with Dynamis is nutty.

  7. Idaho Power is forced by law (PURPA) to buy the electricity at the higher rates. Once again, look to the Ada County Commissioners and other politicos that are creating these absurd boondoggles.
    Business Journalist


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