Understanding Customer Generation

Idaho Power supports customer choice and your interest in clean energy. Customers who install their own generation sources — usually solar, but also wind, hydropower, geothermal or fuel cells — can offset some or all of their energy needs. Customers remain connected to Idaho Power’s grid, drawing energy any time they aren’t producing their own power or need more than they can produce.

When certain customers (those billed under schedules 6, 8 and 84) generate more energy than they need, they send it back to Idaho Power’s grid and earn an energy credit for the excess energy produced. In addition to a fixed monthly service charge, the customer is billed for their net energy use, which is the amount they generate minus the amount they use over the monthly billing period. This billing structure is called net energy metering, or net metering.

Image depicting net energy from customer generation, which equals energy you consume minus energy you generate.

Pricing for Residential & Small General Service Customers

Idaho Power is working with the IPUC, the public and other interested parties to study the costs and benefits of on-site generation on Idaho Power’s system, and to explore whether there should be modifications to the pricing structure for residential and small general service customers with on-site generation. Case documents are available on the IPUC website (IPC-E-18-15).

Idaho Power’s on-site generation tariffs, as with all other tariffs, are not contracts and are subject to change at any time upon order of the IPUC. Changes to the on-site generation tariffs in the future may include, but are not limited to, modifications to rates, billing components, billing structure, compensation structure, and the value for excess energy produced by the customer’s on-site generation system (and thus, the amount a customer would be compensated). This is consistent with the Idaho Residential Energy System Disclosure Act, which requires solar retailers to provide a disclosure reminding potential customers that legislative or regulatory actions can affect or eliminate one’s ability to sell or get credit for any excess power generated by the system and may affect the price or value of that power.

Grandfathering for Residential & Small General Service Customers

The IPUC grandfathered existing residential and small general service customers with on-site generation as of December 20, 2019 under the rules of Idaho Power’s current service offering. The IPUC’s grandfathering provisions apply to the on-site generation system, rather than the customer — meaning the original system will remain grandfathered if a customer moves. Grandfathered customers may add a new system (that will not be grandfathered) and maintain grandfathered status for their existing system if they have the two systems metered separately. The end date for grandfathering has been established as December 20, 2045.

New on-site generation customers are subject to future changes in billing and compensation structure.

Schedule 84 Customer Generation

On June 19, 2020, Idaho Power submitted a request to the IPUC asking for two changes to Schedule 84. If approved, these changes would apply to large commercial (i.e., large general service), industrial and irrigation customers with net metering service under Schedule 84.

The company is asking to grandfather existing Schedule 84 customers for 10 years under the current compensation structure and move to a single-meter system for new on-site generation customers, which will simplify the interconnection process going forward. Read our FAQs for more information. Case documents are available on the IPUC website (IPC-E-20-26).

Interconnection Schedule 68

On July 20, 2020, Idaho Power filed a case with the IPUC to establish interconnection Schedule 68. The primary objectives of this case are to: (1) implement an interconnection tariff schedule applicable only to retail customers who have distributed energy resources (DERs), (2) establish a smart inverter standard for all new DER interconnections, and (3) establish interconnection requirements for customers with DERs who do not wish to export excess net energy to Idaho Power. The company also proposed additional changes to streamline existing interconnection processes.

Read our FAQs for more information. Case documents are available on the IPUC website (IPC-E-20-30).

Customer Generation Eligibility and Pricing

Customers approved to generate their own electricity are billed under different pricing policies, often called rate schedules (or tariffs). Use the chart below, to find your rate schedule or view all rate schedules.

Current Schedules Eligible for Customer Generation Applicable Schedule with Customer Generation Allowable Amount of Nameplate Capacity Connected
Idaho Residential (Schedule 1) Idaho Residential Service On-site Generation (Schedule 6) Up to 25 kilowatts
Idaho Small General Service (Schedule 7) Idaho Small General Service On-Site Generation (Schedule 8) Up to 25 kilowatts
Oregon Residential (Schedule 1) and Small General Service (Schedule 7) Customer Energy Production/Net Metering Service (Schedule 84) Up to 25 kilowatts
Idaho and Oregon Irrigation (Schedule 24), Large General Service (Schedule 9) and Industrial (Schedule 19) Customer Energy Production/Net Metering Service (Schedule 84) Up to 100 kilowatts

For inverter-based generation sources, the nameplate capacity is defined as the AC nameplate rating of the inverter. For non-inverter-based generation sources, the nameplate capacity is defined as the nameplate rating of the generation source (example: nameplate rating of the turbine).

For projects over 100 kW, refer to Generator Interconnection.

Technical Requirements

Solar, wind and other on-site generation sources must be installed safely. There are specific equipment requirements and designs depending on your rate schedule and size of system.

Schedule 72 Interconnections to Non-Utility Generation applies to all rate schedules and outlines the interconnection requirements and application process.

Customer Generation Interconnection Standards includes one-line diagrams, equipment specifications and testing requirements to ensure your system is configured properly.

Customer Requirements for Generation Service includes details and drawings for electric service and meter installation requirements for customers with on-site generation.

See the Idaho Division of Building Safety’s safety bulletin warning about plug and play inverters.

Ready to Install?

Find application forms here.

Questions?

Check out our FAQs, or contact a Customer Generation Specialist for help at 1-208-388-2559 or cg@idahopower.com.

Solar installers, sign up for our Customer Generation email newsletter to stay in the loop about updates and trends.

For assistance with a PDF on this page or to request a PDF in an alternate format, please contact Customer Service at 208-388-2323 or 1-800-488-6151