You can’t deny this is good news, even if it is a little lame (let’s be honest here). Idaho Power announced a plan today to try to lower bills of most customers by June 1. So, Idaho Power, how low can you go?
About 67 cents lower, on average. In the press release, the company included a chart full of utility mumbo jumbo, including phrases like “Transmission Revenue Deferral Recovery” and “Non-AMI Meter Depreciation,” but in the end they said it would amount to a decrease of about 67 cents per month for the average customer.
While this looks like a general act of kindness, the company isn’t just cutting rates across the board, they’re actually raising them too. But the net difference between cuts and raises just happens to work out slightly in the customers’ favor.
The first increase comes from a change in depreciation rates for their existing electric facilities, resulting in a .31 percent increase across the board. Then there’s the shutdown of the old Boardman Coal Plant in Oregon. The plant will close in 2020, so Idaho Power will need to raise rates by .18 percent for decommissioning costs and the like. Another measly .08 percent hike comes from a shortfall from an ongoing transmission case with the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee.
However, this total .57 percent increase is more than offset by 1.22 decrease from the full depreciation of mechanical electric meters this spring. Because this is the 21st century and how much are those things worth as assets anyway?
None of this is official until the Idaho Public Utilities Commission approves the company’s proposition. If passed, residents will see a decrease of about .8 percent per month. In fact, all customers, except “large power” users, will see a decrease of at least .56 percent. Again, t’s not the coolest news ever, but it’s hard to complain, right?