You've heard talk lately about the convergence of electricity and natural gas. That idea has grown as commodity markets have matured for gas and emerged for bulk power.
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has rejected a request by Idaho Power Co. to include a "public purpose charge" in ratepayer bills to fund its participation in the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance.
The utility said that the goal of the new organization is to transform existing energy markets to permit improvements in energy use efficiency without the need for long-term utility incentives.
The commission permitted the utility to capitalize and defer the costs of its investment in the organization until additional information is available. It said ratepayers were the primary beneficiaries of programs that reduce energy usage and that 100 percent shareholder funding of such activities is "counter-intuitive." Re Idaho Power Co., Case No. ipc-e-96-26, Order No. 27045, July 16, 1997 (Idaho P.U.C.).
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