A proposal by Intermountain Gas Co. to temporarily interrupt service to new snowmelt customers during periods when natural gas is in short supply will be the topic of a workshop in Boise at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 4 at the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, 472 W. Washington St., Boise.
Natural-gas-fired snow-melting equipment, installed under driveways and on rooftops, uses an inordinate amount of natural gas compared to more conventional uses, the commission said in a release. During days when natural gas is at peak use, snow-melt use competes with other customers for the finite amount of available natural gas than can flow through the Intermountain Gas distribution system, potentially degrading service to other customers, the commission said.
Intermountain Gas proposes to manually or remotely turn off the meters to snowmelt equipment during times when use of natural gas supply is peaking. The interruptions, which the company says will be short in duration, would apply only to new snowmelt customers, the Public Utilities Commission said. Existing customers who have snowmelt equipment can volunteer to be interrupted. In exchange for the interruption, new snowmelt customers and volunteering existing customers would pay a lower rate.
The proposal has raised a number of questions from the commission and parties who have commented in the case, prompting the scheduled public workshop with company representatives and any other interested parties or customers, the commission said.
Documents related to case are available here.