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Idaho Power’s Recent Rate Increase: What It Means for You

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Idaho Power recently filed an application for new Fixed Cost Adjustment (FCA) rates, which have been approved by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and will take effect on June 1, 2024. This adjustment will increase the average residential customer’s bill by $1.69 per month. While this may not seem significant initially, the cumulative effect over the past few years has been substantial.

Historical Context of Rate Increases

Let’s take a closer look at the rate increases over the past few years to understand the overall impact on residential customers and Idaho Power’s revenue.

2024 Increases

  • Fixed Cost Adjustment (FCA): Increase of $1.69 per month
  • General Rate Increase: An overall base rate increase of 4.25%, translating to approximately $4.44 per month for the average residential customer, totaling about $53.28 annually(Idaho Power – Bill Inserts).

2023 Increases

  • Power Cost Adjustment (PCA): Increased by $6.68 per month due to higher power costs, lower hydro generation, and limited coal supply.
  • Fixed Cost Adjustment (FCA): Increased rates for residential customers from 0.4402 cents per kWh to 0.6182 cents per kWh, and for small general service customers from 0.5541 cents per kWh to 0.7638 cents per kWh.
  • General Rate Increase: Approximately 8.61% overall increase.
  • Combined Impact: Typical residential customers saw an overall monthly increase of $11.06, including PCA and FCA adjustments.

2022 Increases

  • PCA Rate for 2022-2023: Increased by approximately 1.1926 cents per kWh and 0.2579 cents per kWh for balancing adjustments, resulting in an increase of about $3.57 per month.

Total Impact Over the Past Three Years

Combining the increases from 2022, 2023, and 2024, the overall rate increases for Idaho Power customers are substantial:

  • 2022 Total Increase: $3.57 per month
  • 2023 Total Increase: $11.06 per month
  • 2024 Total Increase: $6.13 per month ($1.69 + $4.44)

Combined Increase

  • Total Monthly Increase: $3.57 (2022) + $11.06 (2023) + $6.13 (2024) = $20.76 per month
  • Annual Impact: $20.76 x 12 = $249.12 per year

Understanding the Impact

The approved rate increase affects over 500,000 Idaho Power customers. Here’s a breakdown of the annual impact on total revenue for Idaho Power and the total annual impact on residential customers:

Annual Revenue Impact to Idaho Power

  • 2022 Increase: $3.57 x 500,000 customers x 12 months = $21,420,000
  • 2023 Increase: $11.06 x 500,000 customers x 12 months = $66,360,000
  • 2024 Increase: $6.13 x 500,000 customers x 12 months = $36,780,000
  • Total Annual Revenue Increase: $21,420,000 (2022) + $66,360,000 (2023) + $36,780,000 (2024) = $124,560,000

Annual Impact on Residential Customers

  • 2022 Increase: $3.57 per month x 12 = $42.84 per year
  • 2023 Increase: $11.06 per month x 12 = $132.72 per year
  • 2024 Increase: $6.13 per month x 12 = $73.56 per year
  • Total Annual Impact: $42.84 (2022) + $132.72 (2023) + $73.56 (2024) = $249.12 per year

Why Solar Energy Is a Smart Choice

Given the continual rise in electricity rates, now is an ideal time to consider the benefits of solar energy. As a solar energy customer, you can significantly reduce your reliance on traditional power sources and mitigate the impact of rate increases. Here’s how going solar can benefit you:

  1. Control Over Energy Costs: By installing solar panels, you become your own power provider. This means that the fluctuations in energy prices and rate increases from Idaho Power will have a minimal impact on your overall energy costs.
  2. Long-Term Savings: Although the initial investment in solar panels can be significant, the long-term savings are substantial. Solar energy systems typically pay for themselves within a few years through reduced electricity bills and potential tax incentives.
  3. Energy Independence: Solar power provides a reliable and sustainable energy source. With the addition of battery storage solutions, you can ensure a continuous power supply even during outages, further enhancing your energy security.

The Bigger Picture

The recent and ongoing rate increases by Idaho Power highlight the growing costs of maintaining and upgrading traditional energy infrastructure. As these costs are passed down to consumers, the financial burden can become significant. Transitioning to solar energy not only offers a hedge against these rising costs but also contributes to a more sustainable and resilient energy grid.

Conclusion

The approval of Idaho Power’s new FCA rates is a reminder of the increasing costs associated with traditional energy sources. By investing in solar energy, you can take control of your energy expenses, achieve long-term savings, and contribute to a more sustainable future. For more detailed information on Idaho Power’s rate increases and how you can benefit from solar energy, visit the official Idaho Power announcement and the Idaho Public Utilities Commission’s order.

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