Beginning last week, Idaho Power has brought back its popular, if sometimes intermittent, programs to help customers reduce the utility’s need for power during its highest or “peak” demand times, and for residential customers that means the program where you allow the utility to periodically “cycle” your air-conditioner off for short periods in exchange for a payment from the company.
“Customers who voluntarily participate in these programs receive an incentive on their bills or a direct check,” Idaho Power said in announcing that the programs are back this year. The programs are known as “demand response” programs because, unlike traditional energy efficiency measures such as installing energy-saving lighting or insulation, these shave power consumption during specific times of day when demand is greatest. By doing so, customers can help reduce the need for the utility to build short-term generating facilities that would otherwise go into our power rates. Idaho Power suspended the programs a few years ago when it said it had ample energy resources even for “peak” times and that it didn’t need to reduce power consumption to address those high-use periods. The programs, which were restored a year later with more modest incentives, include:
Follow the link above for more information on each program and for information about the financial incentives for customers. The programs run from June 15 through Aug. 15.