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Monday, June 3, 2013

Low Water Year and Ongoing Wind Expenses Equal 15.3% Idaho Power Rate Increase

We got this post from David R. Frazier aka, Boise Guardian

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has authorized Idaho Power to bump power rates with an average hike of 15.3% due to low water levels.
Spillway of the C.J. Strike Dam on the Snake River near Grand View, Idaho, USA.About 70% of all water in the West comes from snow pack and this year’s low levels are already putting a crimp on everything from fish to power generators.

Here’s how the PUC explained the situation in a press release:

Declining water, reduced revenue from surplus energy sales and ongoing wind power expenses all contributed to a $140 million Power Cost Adjustment, the fourth highest in PCA history. To make up for the shortfall caused by these factors, Idaho Power Company’s residential customers will be assessed a one-year surcharge of an average 12.5 percent effective June 1. For all customers classes combined, the average increase is 15.3 percent.
None of the money collected in the surcharge can be used to increase Idaho Power earnings or salaries, but is kept in a deferred account, audited by the commission, to be used only for paying extraordinary power supply expense. While base rates cover fixed costs, the PCA, adjusted every June 1, covers costs that vary from year to year, and are largely outside the company’s control. These costs are related largely to water levels, gas and fuel expense, transportation expense and renewable power contracts for projects mandated by federal law. 

In six of the last 11 years, the PCA has been a decrease or no change, but this year’s is the fourth highest on record due largely to a 19 percent reduction in water the company uses to power its hydroelectric plants.

1 comment:

  1. Wind energy is a fraud that forces utilities to take the energy they generate even when not needed. Now the rate payers get stuck paying for this fraud. Wind energy is not what it is cracked up to be. Give me a natural gas fired boiler to generate electricity when needed and they can shut it down when not needed for a whole lot less money.


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