Juice Demand High, Water Low

What’s up with Idaho Power wanting to raise rates to pay for growth?

They claim to be spending $800 million to meet increased demand. They were trying to “soften up” customers to the impending price hike back in March with bill inserts.

Not to short circuit their profitable power plans, but if more people get on the circuit the lights will dim without more generators…a shock to no one. Cut the consumption, reduce the demand and no need to invest in extra generating capacity. Again, no shock.

The GUARDIAN sent Idaho Power the following e-mail to the address they provided, but surprise, surprise, they never responded.

The e-mail:

“I received a bill insert explaining your energy plan as it relates to future growth.

You mention a considerable investment in transmission and distribution to meet growth.

Would you be willing to join me in opposing growth?”

UPDATE 5/22/07
Today’s Daily Paper reports Idaho power will be charging us another 9% to make up for a rebate they used to get from Bonneville Power Administration. That money formerly was passed on to customers in the form of credits on power bills. A court decision in favor of BPA has eliminated the credit. Combined with the 14.5% hike due to low water, that brings electric bill increases up 23.5% before any decision is made about a general rate hike.

We hope the Chamber shares this news with the 2 million readers of United Airlines inflight magazine.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Bragdoucious
    May 22, 2007, 9:23 am

    Oppose Growth are we going to build a wall around Idaho. Last time I checked it’s a free country.

    EDITOR NOTE–Bragdoucious you obviously are not a growthophobe. We oppose using government resources to CREATE growth. Boise, Ada, and State all have agencies designed to attract increased population. They advertise using tax money and they pay or raise funds for the Chamber to create growth.
    The UAL magazine pitch is a perfect example.

    It is indeed a free country and we welcome anyone who wishes to come here and pay their way for schools, roads, taxes, etc. Read the Daily Paper, watch TV, attend a council meeting and all you hear is a sad tale of GROWTH problems.

  2. g-man, Idaho power is all about hangin electric meters on houses. They don’t even have to manually check them anymore. The rate that Idaho Power gets for residential power is the most expensive they can sell.

    Right now they are helping out new businesses and retrofitting old businesses with energy efficient lighting and HVAC equipment. Good deal for both parties. Business gets lower bills on power and it frees up more power to sell at the higher residential rate. It’s even better if you make the residential rate payer pay for the business retrofits. Don’t get me wrong, saving power is a good thing. If Idaho Power really cared about residential rate payers, they would have a graduated scale based on residential consumption of power.

    Why should Mr. and Mrs Idaho McMansion dweller get the same rate when they use 3 or 4 times the KWH to cool the spread in Eagle as the two bedroom trailer family in Melba? Lets see…perhaps McMansions could qualify for the discounted high energy user rate.

  3. Idaho Power needs to charge hookup fees. You never hear about Boise City having to raise sewer rates for growth, because when you get a building permit, you must pay hundreds of dollars for a hookup fee. This fee is not used for maintenance or operations; it is used only to build or expand treatment plants as growth dictates. When you pay your regular sewer bill, that money only goes for M and O, not for growth.

    Idaho Power needs to do the same thing. If every home had to pay a grand or two to Idaho Power for new facilities, that would allow IP to build new generating and transmission capacity and not have to charge it to people who are already here.

    I am a growthophile and I believe growth needs to pay its own way if it is to be sustainable. If it doesn’t pay, you’ll exhaust your assets and then growth will stop (like in McCall).

  4. Wonk Vader’s suggestion really makes sense.
    And I think a lot more things need to be done in a similar way. When we have enough roads, power plants, sewer plants, police, firefighters etc. to serve the people who are here, and paid for them, why should these same people have to continually pay more and more and more just to serve the new folks coming in?

    Impact fees, hookup fees, whatever they might be called are fair.

    When I moved to Idaho 40-some years ago, I bought a house built in about 1917, and moved in, replacing the people who moved out. More recently, I moved to Gem County, to a house built 30 or 40 years ago, and moved in when the other people moved out.

    So, my wife and I didn’t add to the population, or add another house to those needing electricity, fire protection etc.

    Had I moved in and wanted to buy a brand new house, then it would have been only fair to have to pay extra toward the new electric lines, roads and whatever that I and the other newcomers were making necessary.

    Let’s do it.

  5. Bragdoucious is the growth in California what brought you here? Maybe the crime? Polution? Can’t help but wonder. What brought you here. Oh Maybe greed? Oh your a developer?

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