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News Release
Commission Trims Idaho Power Rate Request by $2.3 Million
February 25, 2010 (2010-004) (UE-213)
Contacts:  Lee Beyer, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Ray Baum, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; John Savage, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Affairs Specialist, 503 378-8962
Salem, OR.  Idaho Power will see their overall revenues increase by 15.4 percent or $5 million a year effective March 1, 2010 as the result of a settlement finalized today by the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC).  Idaho Power had requested to raise rates by 22.6 percent or $7.3 million annually. The impact will vary for residential customers, businesses and irrigators.
“While we would prefer not to impose any rate increase during this challenging economic climate, Idaho Power is entitled to recoup in rates the costs of infrastructure currently being used to serve customers,” said Commission Chairman Lee Beyer. 
The average residential customer who uses 1247 Kwh per month should see their bill go from $70.50 to $89.00 an increase of $18.50 or approximately 26 percent.
The Commission limited the increase on irrigators to 27.9 percent rather than the 44.7 percent that Idaho Power wanted.  The increase for commercial and industrial customers will range from 9.3 percent to 24.7 percent depending on customer size.
The Commission and other customer groups spent the last seven months reviewing the company’s proposal.
The primary drivers behind the rate change are additions to the system and growth in Oregon expenses that have not kept up with revenues. Also, Idaho Power has not had a general rate increase since 2004. There have been ongoing adjustments for power costs.
Idaho Power also sought to implement seasonal rates for residential customers. However, the Commission declined to make the change. Instead the Commission will take up the issue in a separate proceeding. The Citizens’ Utility Board (CUB), which represents residential customers, had opposed seasonal pricing. CUB argued the change would be confusing for customers and said Idaho Power should instead encourage energy efficiency for residential customers year round.
Idaho Power serves approximately 19,300 customers in the northeastern part of Oregon.
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