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

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission (IPUC) rejected a settlement agreement filed by Idaho Power and other parties, including IPUC staff, the Idaho Clean Energy Association, the Sierra Club and City of Boise. The agreement requested changes to the billing and compensation structure for residential and small general service customers with on-site generation. This ruling creates uncertainty about what pricing for customers with on-site generation will look like going forward. Idaho Power and several other parties in the case have filed petitions for reconsideration and clarification with the IPUC. Case documents are available on the IPUC website (IPC-E-18-15).

The IPUC’s order reminds customers that 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). The order 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

The IPUC has grandfathered existing residential and small general service customers with on-site generation under the rules of Idaho Power’s current service offering. Customers who add on-site generation after Dec. 20, 2019 will be subject to future changes in billing and compensation structure. While Idaho Power accepts and supports the IPUC’s decision, the company and other parties in the case have asked the IPUC to clarify the parameters of grandfathering.

Other Cases Regarding Customer Generation Pricing

In addition to the 18-15 case, Idaho Power is involved in two IPUC cases regarding customer generation:

  • Case studying the costs and benefits of commercial, industrial and irrigation customer generation on Idaho Power’s system (IPC-E-19-15)
  • Case studying ways to recover the fixed costs of providing electric service to customers (IPC-E-18-16)

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 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 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 Requirements include line diagrams, equipment specifications and testing requirements to ensure your system is configured properly.

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