Understanding Customer Generation

Idaho Power supports solar energy and fair prices for all. 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 use minus the amount they generate 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.

Excess Energy Transfer Credits

The window to submit requests to transfer excess energy credits is open, and the deadline to apply for a transfer is January 31, 2023. To apply, access the online application form or contact our Customer Care team at 1-800-632-6605 to have a form mailed to you. Transferring credits is not required. As long as your service stays active for the net meter, your credits will not expire. For more details, read our FAQs.

Pricing for Customers with On-site Generation

At the direction of the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (IPUC), Idaho Power has filed a study analyzing the benefits and costs of on-site customer generation within the company’s service area. The study provides information that the IPUC, Idaho Power and other stakeholders will use to determine whether changes should be made to Idaho Power’s existing customer generation offering for all customer classes. To provide feedback to the IPUC regarding the study, visit puc.idaho.gov and reference Case No. IPC-E-22-22.

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 December 1, 2020 and January 14, 2021, the IPUC ordered changes to Schedule 84 (Customer Energy Production Net Metering Service). These changes apply to Idaho Power’s large commercial, industrial and irrigation (CI&I) customers with net metering service under Schedule 84.

The IPUC, responding to a request from Idaho Power, ruled that:

  1. New customers will be required to install a single-meter system.
  2. Existing customers with two-meter systems will be grandfathered for 25 years under the current offering.

Read our FAQs for more information.

Interconnection Schedule 68

On March 9, 2021, the IPUC approved Idaho Power’s request  to establish interconnection Schedule 68. Schedule 68 will take effect March 23, 2021 and will (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.

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 that will transfer energy to the electrical grid, refer to Generator Interconnection.

For non-exporting projects that will not transfer energy to the electrical grid, the maximum size for residential and small general service is 25 kW AC. There is no size limit for large commercial, industrial, and irrigation. See our FAQs for more information or Schedule 68 for requirements.

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 68 Interconnections to Customer Distributed Energy Resources applies to all rate schedules and outlines the interconnection requirements and application process.

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

Supplemental information regarding installation and testing requirements for customer generation systems.

Making changes to an existing service will require the service to comply with the current Customer Requirements for Electric Service.

Ready to Install?

Find application forms here.

Questions?

Check out our FAQs, or contact a Customer Generation Specialist for help at 1-800-632-6605 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