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Utility commission OKs new rate class for solar power users

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has signed off on a plan to move Idaho Power customers who generate their own solar electricity to a new rate class.

The regulatory commission also on May 9 ordered Idaho Power to study those customers’ costs and benefits to determine the appropriate rates and compensation for customers who generate more power than they use.

Previously, customers who installed solar powers on their homes and businesses were considered part of the same rate class as traditional electricity users. The solar users were given credit for the power they generated, to be used against the power they consumed.

Idaho Power officials contended that keeping the two types of users in one rate group could unfairly shift costs to traditional electricity users if solar power became far cheaper. But many solar power users contended everyone should stay in one rate class until the cost study is complete.

Under the commission’s decision, solar customers will be migrated to a new rate class, but their rates won’t change at this time.

About The Associated Press