Idaho Public Utilities Commission approves several utility rate reductions due to tax rate changes

Published on July 23, 2018 by Kevin Randolph

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The Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC) recently approved rate reductions for three Idaho utilities due to changes in federal and state tax laws, including those resulting from the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

In January, the PUC directed all utilities to report the impact of the tax law. All three of the Idaho-based rate reductions took effect June 1.

The settlement agreement for Rocky Mountain Power approved by the PUC is expected to reduce revenue from the company’s Idaho customers by $8.35 million. Customer rates will decrease by approximately 1 percent.

For Avista Power, the overall rate reduction is $13.7 million for electric customers and $2.6 million for natural gas customers.

The average electric customer using 910 kilowatt-hours per month will see a decrease of $4.85 on their monthly bill, reducing their total bill from $93.34 to $88.49. The bill for the average natural gas customer using 63 therms per month will decrease by $2.24, from $50.55 to $48.31.

Idaho Power customers will receive a 7.06-percent decrease in their electric rates.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, and changes to the state corporate income tax rate resulted in a benefit of $33.9 million for customers. The typical residential customer using 950 kilowatt-hours per month will see a decrease of $2.15 on their monthly bill.

Changes to the Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) and Fixed Cost Adjustment (FCA) for Idaho Power, which change annually on June 1 with PUC approval, also resulted in rate decreases.

Changes to the FCA will reduce rates by approximately $19.4 million for residential and small general service customers. This will result in a decrease of 3.61 percent or $3.60 on the monthly power bill of a typical residential customer using 950 kilowatt-hours per month. The change to the PCA reduces rates by $22.6 million for all customers. For the typical residential customer who uses 950 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month, rates will decline by 1.29 percent, or $1.29 per month.