IPCo. Seeks Higher Irrigation Service Depositsby Patricia R. McCoy
Capital Press, September 24, 2004
Idaho Power Co. wants irrigation customers with poor payment histories to pay higher deposits.
The company filed an application earlier this month with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission asking to be allowed to require deposits in two categories, depending on a customer’s payment and credit history.
Customers with poor payment histories are currently assessed deposits computed by multiplying their average monthly bill by 1.5, said Dennis Lopez, company spokesman.
That program would continue for those who have had two or more reminder notices for electricity bills of $100 or more, or who have been disconnected for nonpayment. It would be classified as Tier One, a company announcement said.
The proposed change creates a Tier Two deposit for irrigation customers with year-end balances of over $1,000. Their deposit would be four times their highest amount, from which their monthly electricity bill for pumping would be deducted. Funds remaining at the end of the pumping season would be applied to the customer’s account. Excess monies would be eligible for refund, Lopez said.
IPCo. is asking the PUC to approve the request under modified procedure, putting the new deposit policy in place for the 2005 irrigation season. A modified procedure omits a public hearing. Rather, only written comments on the proposal will be gathered, said Randy Lobb, PUC administrator of the utilities division.
“The PUC staff will review the petition, investigate how the proposed policy will affect customers, and present a recommendation to the commission, probably for their next meeting on Sept. 27,” Lobb said.
“If the commission determines a modified procedure is appropriate in this case, they’ll designate a 30- to 60-day comment period, during which written comments will be received. At the end of that time period, their attorney will review and summarize the comments at a subsequent commission meeting. Commissioners will then vote to approve or disapprove the change,” he said.
If a 30-day comment period is set at the commission meeting on the 27th, it would end Oct. 29. Potentially, the application could be approved or rejected at the Nov. 8 commission meeting, Lobb said.
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