IDACORP, Inc., principal subsidiary Idaho Power has filed a request with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to install Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) technology throughout its service territory.
The three-year AMI program would convert nearly all of the current power meters in Idaho Power's service area to a technologically advanced model, or "smart meter" that will allow for both present and future benefits to the company and its customers. The immediate benefits include fully automated meter reading and an improved outage management system.
Additionally, the new metering infrastructure will provide a foundation for future customer programs and pricing choices. "AMI will provide a platform from which Idaho Power can launch other customer benefits," said Idaho Power Vice President for Regulatory Affairs Ric Gale. "But additional investments will be required before wide scale pricing and other applications can become a reality."
Idaho Power proposes to install AMI throughout its service area through a systematic three-year deployment schedule starting in January 2009 and concluding in 2011. The company estimates the project will cost up to $71 million over the three-year schedule. Approximately two-thirds of the estimated project costs are included in the company's 2008 - 2010 capital expenditure guidance, reflecting the first two years of project expenditures in 2009 and 2010. The company noted that today's filing does not seek a change in customer rates at this time, but that rate impacts will be addressed in subsequent proceedings after a deployment plan is approved by the Commission.