Printed on: July 26, 2013

Bonneville Power to issue rate hike


The Bonneville Power Administration -- the nonprofit agency that markets hydropower to Idaho Falls Power -- approved operational increases Wednesday.

Power costs for the agency increased by 9 percent and transmission costs by 11 percent. Those changes take effect Oct. 1.

Idaho Falls Power officials propose passing those increases along to its customers.

The average Idaho Falls Power residential customer's bill would rise by about $3.65 per month, depending on the amount of electricity used, according to a news release.

Wholesale power purchases represent the largest item in Idaho Falls Power's budget, with more than $25 million allocated for purchases from Bonneville Power Administration last year. So, any increase in this budget item, which represents 53 percent of the utility's operating budget, affects the utility's costs, the news release said.

October 2011 was the last time Idaho Falls Power increased rates. That rate hike also coincided with Bonneville Power Administration cost increases.

The city has operated Idaho Falls Power since 1900. Today, it serves about 22,350 residential and 3,680 commercial customers over an approximately 23-square-mile service area with nearly 450 miles of transmission and distribution lines.