Business

Consumer Advocates Need Voice At IPUC

By HUBERT OSBORNE
GUARDIAN Reader

A recent examination of rate cases before the Idaho Public Utility’s commission on three separate rate cases all involving renewable energy show some startling differences in the electricity rates that have been agreed to between small power producers and the Utility’s involved.

A case in North Idaho involving the burning of waste wood for energy and just recently approved by the IPUC shows a 5 year contract with a purchase price which averages near $60/megawatt-hour.

A wind energy case before the commission between  Idaho Power and High Mesa Energy LLC is a 20 year contract with a levelized price of $56.43/megawatt-hour.

Also recently filed is a case between Idaho Power and Dynamis Energy LLC with a negotiated price which averages $92.35/megawatt-hour. This involves burning garbage at the Ada County landfill which has made the news recently because of the $2 million already forked over to Dynamis by Ada County Commissioners.
 
Granted, there are some differences in these contracts as to cost to utility’s and costs to developers but short of hiring a lawyer who is knowlegeable in energy law how, how does John Q. Public know whether the Utility’s and Generators of Electricity are acting in the public interest?

I would submit they are acting in their own interest. Without a consumer advocate, the IPUC will not have a chance to hear the other side of the story.

It’s not unreasonable for two people to look at the same project and come to different conclusions. Three knowlegeable people would be more fair.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Jeniss Nicole
    Dec 5, 2011, 11:33 am

    Has anyone ever bothered to actually contact the PUC for comments? Many of the cases they hold there are open to the public. Those in attendance are also able to submit comments on the case if they so wish. Most people either don’t know they can, or just don’t bother to do it. Don’t get me wrong, I agree with your point. But many times what people say and what they’re willing to do are two different things. Is there anyone willing to step up and try to get their voice heard?

  2. Bill Johnson
    Dec 5, 2011, 12:12 pm

    I agree with what J Osborne has to report. It is time to consider the interests of John Q. Ratepayer. Hopefully this is the charge of IPUC. However, it looks like they are moving us all in the direction of eventually paying $.09 per KWH for our electricity. Is this what the public wants? If not it is your job to register complaints with IPUC.

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