Idaho Public Utilities Commission

Case No. IPC-E-10-04, Order No. 31080

May 17, 2010

Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339, 890-2712


Idaho Power participation in NEEA approved; but funding will be reviewed

Idaho Power Company’s application for authority to fund its continued participation in the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance has been approved.  However, the Idaho Public Utilities Commission made clear it will require the company to demonstrate a “sufficient benefit to customers,” before it will include NEEA funding in customer rates.

NEEA is a non-profit organization working to accelerate market adoption of energy-efficient products, technologies and practices within homes, businesses and industries. It is funded by Northwest utilities, the Bonneville Power Administration and the Energy Trust of Oregon.

NEEA is asking that Idaho Power pay 8.62 percent of its overall 2010-14 budget. That totals $16.5 million, which is $3.3 million per year over five years.  Idaho Power’s share of NEEA funding is included in the 4.75 percent energy efficiency rider paid by customers.

While the commission approved Idaho Power’s continued participation, the company will yet need to show that customers benefitted sufficiently when the company files an annual report of its conservation related program. “The commission expects rider funds to be used judiciously to ensure customers receive tangible benefits from their payments to support energy efficiency programs,” the commission said.

Idaho Power said NEEA helps fund these activities that benefit customers:

The Idaho Conservation League and the Snake River Alliance supported Idaho Power’s continued participation, although ICL expressed concern that participation could reduce funds available for other efficiency programs that may have more immediate results. The Snake River Alliance said it believes Idaho Power’s participation “resulted in energy efficiency gains that would not have occurred absent NEEA’s role in Idaho.”

The Industrial Customers of Idaho Power opposed the application, maintaining an increase in NEEA funding would result in a decrease of money available for other conservation programs. The industrial customers said Idaho Power should spend rider funds on programs that provide “easily measureable reductions in demand on Idaho Power’s system, not on increased funding of NEEA’s broadly focused, regional market transformation programs.”

Interested parties may petition the commission for reconsideration by no later than June 2. Petitions for reconsideration must set forth specifically why the petitioner contends that the order is unreasonable, unlawful or erroneous. Petitions should include a statement of the nature and quantity of evidence the petitioner will offer if reconsideration is granted. Petitions can be delivered to the commission at 472 W. Washington St. in Boise, mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID, 83720-0074, or faxed to 208-334-3762.

A full text of the commission’s order, along with other documents related to this case, is available on the commission’s Web site at Click on “File Room” and then on “Electric Cases” and scroll down to Case Number IPC-E-10-04.