ICEA Members and Customers:
A settlement has been reached with Idaho Power and others regarding the program and terms for new customers. The Public Utilities Commission will consider this for formal adoption in the next few months. As for existing solar customers, ICEA and others are fighting, through the hearing process, for grandfathering and the right of homeowners and businesses to keep the program and terms they agreed with Idaho Power on. This outlines the settlement terms and describes the next steps for grandfathering.
Settlement Terms (new customers):
– Protections for the customer’s side of the meter. Customer’s consumption rates, including the monthly customer charge, will not change.
– Transition period: the movement to a new rate for exports form customer’s systems to Idaho power’s grid will be implemented gradually over 8 years. The export credit rate will apply only to the exported energy generated by customers to the grid. The full retail rate will still apply to the energy supplied by Idaho Power
– Rate for exports: IPC will use a new method to calculate the value of exports from customers. When customers generate more energy than they consume during an hour, the exported energy will be credited at the export credit rate, rather than on the current kilowatt hour basis they are receiving now. New and existing (unless exempted by IPUC order) customers with on-site generation will be transitioned to the new pricing structure over the next eight years, in two year increments, from the retail rate to the new export rate. The new rate will initially be set at approximately 8.7 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for Schedule 6 and 10.2 cents per kWh for Schedule 8, effective January 1, 2020. Pricing adjustments are expected to occur in 2022, 2024, 2026 and 2028. The final export credit rate to become effective in 2028 has initially been estimated to be 4.4 cents per kWh for Schedule 6 and 4.9 cents per kWh for Schedule 8 customers. The export credit rate will be reviewed and validated in conjunction with Idaho Power’s Integrated Resource Planning process throughout the transition period and is subject to change.
– Smart Inverters will be required with default settings. We will engage in a further process to determine optimal settings.
– Non-export option: We will work with Idaho Power and others to design an option for customers who will not export to Idaho Power’s grid.
Grandfathering (existing customers) – We need your help!
The settlement asks the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to decide how to treat existing customers. We believe existing customers should remain under the existing program rules. We need you to ask customers to speak up and tell the PUC they made an investment under the rules at the time and expect those rules to remain in place. If the grandfathering docket is unsuccessful, existing customers will default the terms settled for new customers.
ICEA has fought for solar and customer rights and will continue to do so but now we need your help! Please join us by submitting official comments to the Public Utilities Commission.
Here are three ways to add your voice:
1. Submit your comments online here, referencing Case Number IPC-E-18-15, now through December 3rd
2. Call 1-800-920-7487 passcode 6674832# on Monday December 2nd from 10am to 4pm
3. Show up in person at 7pm Tuesday December 3rd at the PUC’s Boise office – 11331 W Chinden Blvd, Building 8, Suite 201-A, Boise, Idaho 83714
Suggested talking points:
- The PUC should uphold the original program that was agreed upon by Idaho Power and solar customers. Idahoans have invested in local clean energy expecting a fair deal.
- Idaho families and small businesses shouldn’t have the rules changed on them after they have already made their investment.
- The new proposal could cost existing solar customers thousands of dollars on their electricity bills.
- The PUC promised that discriminatory rates would not be the outcome. If changes are implemented that negatively impact existing customers’ solar investments, it would be discriminatory. Ask them to keep to their word.
- Idaho families and businesses should not be penalized for investing their own money into a program that was created to incentivize purchasing renewable generation. Approving a net metering policy that encouraged investment for long term savings, only to have it invalidated in this manner, seems unethical. If there wasn’t the intention of honoring the service agreement set out initially, it shouldn’t have even made it an option. But it was, and it should be honored.
- You are encouraged to personalize your comments and share your own experience – the important thing is to be respectful and drive home the point.
It takes all of our efforts in unison to win. Your voice is amplified when you add it to the hundreds of other solar advocates in Idaho – please act today!