Idaho Power Asks Rate Hike to Cover Power Costs
LCG, Feb. 26, 2001Idaho Power Co. on Friday asked the Idaho Public Utilities Commission for a 1.3 cents per kilowatt-hour across-the-board rate increase to help pay for "extraordinarily high" purchased power expenses. The utility said those costs have reach $160 million in the last 10 months."Our company's deferred balance for power purchased to supply our customers since last April hasreached an unprecedented level," said Idaho Power chief executive Jan B. Packwood. "As a regulated utility, it is vital that we begin now to recover these costs and continue to earnestly conserve our energy resources."Packwood blamed the high cost of purchased power on a volatile wholesale energy market resulting from chronic supply shortages in California and very poor hydro generating conditions due to low river flows in Idaho and throughout the Pacific Northwest.The company said the emergency charge, if approved, will result in a revenue increase to the company totaling $161 million for one year, which will offset the increase in purchased power costs. There will be another rate change requested in April when Idaho Power makes its annual cost adjustment filing.Packwood said the increase would "serve to create a more direct connection between the price ourcustomers pay and the true cost of their electricity."
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