Building Contractors Association of Southwestern Idaho v. Idaho Public Utilities Comm’nAnnotate this Case
In October 2008, the Idaho Power Company (Company) filed an application with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (IPUC) seeking to modify its “line extension” tariff that applied to requests for electrical service that required the installation, alteration, relocation, removal or attachment of company-owned distribution facilities. As homes are constructed in a subdivision, the homeowner requests to be connected to power, and the Company installs wiring from a transformer to the house at no cost to the homeowner. The cost of constructing new distribution facilities had been paid partially from up-front capital contributions from developers, and partially from electric rates charged to all customers. Under the old tariff, the Company gave developers a “line installation allowance” to offset a portion of the developers’ costs in having the Company construct distribution facilities. The allowance was equal to the Company’s cost of providing and installing transformers within the subdivision. Per-lot refunds were refunded to the developer when a permanent residence connected to electrical service and occupied a lot within five years. The per-lot refunds could be as much as $800 each. In this proceeding, the Company sought to change line installation allowances to fixed sums. It also wanted to eliminate the per-lot refunds. The Building Contractors Association of Southwestern Idaho filed a petition to intervene in the proceeding. The Contractors sought to increase per-lot refunds. The IPUC granted the Company’s request to change the line extension allowance to a fixed sum. The Contractors asked the IPUC to reconsider tariff change, but the IPUC denied the request. On appeal to the Supreme Court, the Contractors challenged the sufficiency of the evidence presented by the Power Company to support the tariff change. Finding the evidence sufficient to support the IPUC’s decision, the Supreme Court affirmed the IPUC’s decision to change the power company’s tariff.