BOISE, Idaho-Many growers in Idaho are bracing for another increase in power costs this season.
Idaho Power is seeking to recover $140.4 million in unexpected power supply expenses over the past year. If the Idaho Public Utilities Commission approves the request in full, it would mean a 15.38 percent increase in power costs for the company's irrigation customers.
While a 15-percent increase in power costs won't break the bank, it will make farming a greater challenge this year, said Rick Shawver, who grows potatoes in Pingree.
"It's definitely a concern when the cost of power goes up like that," he said.
The average power cost to grow potatoes in southern Idaho is about $45-$50 an acre, Shawver said. "That's going to add another 15 percent on top of that. Not good."
Idaho Power's request was made in its annual power cost adjustment, a cost recovery tool that passes on the cost of unanticipated expenses not included in base rates to customers or provides them a credit if expenses are less than anticipated.
SOURCE: Sean Ellis, Capital Press