Utah Power & Light Co. has been ordered to reduce its Idaho rates by $2.6 million, but many residential and irrigation customers will see little or no change in their monthly billings because of an offsetting decrease in the credit UP&L receives under an exchange agreement with the Bonneville Power Administration.
In fact, under the order issued by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, small-farm irrigators are likely to see a slight increase in their monthly bills.In issuing its order, the IPUC said it chose not to spread rates among customer classes in such a way as to protect those customers affected by the BPA decrease because that would have forced other customer classes to subsidize residential and small-farm irrigation rates.
The BPA, which manages federal hydropower in the Pacific Northwest, has provided UP&L's Idaho customers with a power credit over the past several years as part of a power exchange agreement with the Utah-based utility.
The Idaho commission said it is not responsible for mitigating the loss of the federal power credit, especially since UP&L's Idaho rates remain less than those of Idaho Power, a competing private power company.
The IPUC ordered the decrease following UP&L's refinancing of some securities.