Tracking code caldwell guardian

Monday, December 5, 2011

AARP Urges PUC To Nix Idaho Power Rate Hike

Last Public Hearing on Rate Hike Tonight – If Approved Will Mean $90 Million in Hikes for Idahoans as Many Struggle to Pay for the Basics
BOISE, Idaho – Idaho Power reported record earnings last quarter, raking in roughly $40 million more than the prior quarter.  But that hasn’t stopped the state’s largest utility company from seeking to hit consumers with even higher energy bills – to the tune of $83 million in rate hikes plus $6 million more in customer service charge increases.  AARP Idaho says enough is enough and is urging the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to deny the rate hike request.
Tonight will be the last chance for the public to make their voices heard before PUC as the commission wraps up public hearings on the rate hike request.  The final public hearing will be held in Boise at 7pm in the PUC building, 472 W. Washington St. in Boise, in the commission hearing room.  AARP is encouraging Idaho Power customers to make their voices heard in opposition to the rate hike.  
“These rate hikes are a bad idea in a good economy, in today’s economy they are a horrible idea that will wreak havoc on some households already struggling to get by.  Idaho Power sure isn’t struggling, so why should consumers be forced to?” said Lynn Young, a member of AARP Idaho’s Executive Council.  “Older Idahoans already have to strike a delicate balance between affording their utility bills and paying for the basics like health care, rising prescription drug, grocery and gas costs – AARP stands in strong opposition to this rate hike.”
The Idaho Power rate hike would send most residential consumers’ bills skyrocketing by nearly 9%, in addition to a $1 a month increase in customer’s service change (bringing in an additional roughly $500,000 a month to the company – or $6 million a year).  A non-binding settlement agreement between the company and the interveners (none representing residential consumers) in the rate hike case, currently before the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC), still calls for $34 million in rate hikes, hitting the typical residential consumer with a 4.19% higher monthly energy bill.
“This rate hike request and the non-binding, closed door deal cut by those who  had the money to be at the table, further lays out a clear need for Idaho to create a utility consumer advocate office to make sure people have their voice and views heard,” added Young.  “At a time when so many of the state’s older residents are having trouble paying their current utility bills, to hit them with a hike in their utility bills is unthinkable.”
Idaho is the only state in the West lacking a utility consumer advocate office to represent residential consumers and small businesses such as farms in rate cases and other regulatory issues before the PUC and the courts.  AARP stands in strong support of the creation of an advocate office and is currently urging its inclusion in Idaho’s draft Energy Plan which is being updated. 
According to an AARP survey released earlier this year, over 40% of Idahoans 50 and older reported already having difficulty affording their utility bills.  In many cases, older consumers are already forced to make hard choices between turning up the thermostat and filling a prescription – higher utility bills could see more of the state’s elderly struggling to afford the basics.
“All of Idaho’s major utility companies are back at the trough this year seeking to hike customer’s utility bills at a time when most can least afford it,” added Young.  “The most important voice in the debate over more utility rate hikes in Idaho should be the public’s but too often they are left out of the equation or underrepresented; we’re working to help them raise that voice.”

Here's a link to respond the IPUC


  1. I came to Idaho in the late 1970's and Idaho Power was a bargain back then. I heated my home with electricity until 1990 and when my power bill hit $425/month during that severe winter I converted to Natural Gas and haven't looked back. The per KWH rates have gone up over four fold since 1979. I think they are a very good company but this rate increase is just out of order given their current stated profits.

  2. You have to wonder why the city's don't protest this rate hike on behalf of their citizens and the large amount of power they use themselves--or did Idaho Power buy them off with the recent increase in franchise fees--just asking

  3. Where is Bob in this argument? I'm sure he will tell us it's OK for Idaho Power to charge this much just like it's OK for Big oil to charge as much as they want. He must have stock in Exxon.

  4. Can't afford to drive to Bosie to OPPOSE ,Salmon ,id

  5. note to tom don't need to drive to Boise you can get on the IPUC web page and they have a comment form for everyone who can't make the meetings. the link is at the bottom of this post.
    regards, paul

  6. Idaho Power can afford to pay high priced lobbyists to go to the state legislature, and local governments to get them to let them do anything they want. Kind of makes me wonder how many seats in the legislature, and local governments, have been bought off.

  7. Reply to Annonomous

    I would suggest a nice fire in the backyard and candles in the house . They have them cheap at the dollar store.


A public discourse on the issues of the day makes the world a better place.

We welcome comments but they will be moderated and edited if too long or do not have anything to do with the post.
Agree or disagree just do it without profanity or it won't get posted. Try to keep your comments to no more than 300 words. Too long and I will try to edit it down or simply delete the comment. The whole idea is to get people to read your comment. Don't use 10 words when one will do the job.

It's OK to have a difference of opinion but keep it civil. I have used the "delete" feature on myself at times.

The ANONYMOUS feature for comments seems to be the most user friendly. People have commented they have difficulty with the other methods of posting comments.