Monday, August 15, 2022


President Biden this week is poised to sign into law sweeping legislation that addresses climate change and prescription drug costs; Measuring the Supreme Court abortion decision's impact in the corporate world; Disaster recovery for Eastern Kentucky businesses.


Federal officials warn about threats against law enforcement; Democrats push their climate, health, and tax bill through Congress; and a new report reveals 800 Americans were evacuated during the Afghanistan withdrawal.


Infrastructure funding is on its way, ranchers anticipate money from the Inflation Reduction Act, and rural America is becoming more diverse, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the leadership.

Could Utility Company Put Damper on Solar Energy in Idaho?


Monday, February 26, 2018   

BOISE, Idaho – Could a proposal from the Idaho Power Company cast a shadow on the future of solar energy in the Gem State?

The public will have a chance to weigh in on the utility company's proposition to state regulators to place Idahoans, who have installed rooftop solar panels, into a new class of energy providers.

If approved, Idaho Power could hike rates for these customers.

Wendy Wilson, executive director of Snake River Alliance, says this is the wrong time to discourage solar customers with higher rates.

In the last year and a half, her group has helped more than 100 families install solar panels on their homes.

"We think that the program is very strong and that the future of solar energy in Idaho should be really bright, but the current proposal that Idaho Power has put forward puts a wet blanket on where we're going with solar," she states.

Idaho Power is proposing the change because of a policy known as net metering, where customers are compensated for excess energy they produce and send back onto the grid.

The utility says costs are shifted onto other customers when panels aren't producing energy.

Public meetings on the proposal are planned in Boise on Thursday in the Idaho Public Utilities Commission hearing room and Pocatello on March 5 at the City Council Chambers.

Statewide, solar grew modestly last year. According to the Solar Foundation, solar jobs grew by 7 percent between 2016 and 2017.

The state ranks 36th in solar jobs per capita nationwide. But Wilson says the state has a lot of potential. She sees this is as a battle for the future of Idaho's energy system.

"Idaho could have 100 percent renewable energy if we wanted to,” she points out. “And we have a regulated monopoly and a commission that is supposed to be responsive to the needs of ratepayers in Idaho, and we have a wonderful opportunity to do it right here."

The Snake River Alliance is asking the Public Utilities Commission to perform a study on the benefits and costs of net metering.

It and other groups have intervened in Idaho Power's request. Public comments on the proposal will be accepted through March 8.

get more stories like this via email

In 2021, damages from floods and other severe weather in the United States exceeded $145 billion. (Adobe Stock)


In the wake of historic summer floods in the Midwest and Appalachia, there are calls for a new national plan to reduce risks from disasters. The …

Social Issues

Small businesses that suffered damage or destruction from the recent historic flooding in Eastern Kentucky can get one-on-one assistance as they try t…


The Inflation Reduction Act, newly passed by the U.S. Senate, allocates $369 Billion to fight climate change, and appropriates funds specifically for …

Social Issues

By Linda Burstyn for Ms. Magazine Broadcast version by Roz Brown for New Mexico News Connection/Public News Service Bad Business: Anti-abortion …

In Pennsylvania's Nov. 8 General Election, voters will decide races for governor, U.S. House and Senate, and several state offices. (Zimmytws/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Opening up Pennsylvania's primary elections to voters who aren't registered either as Democrats or Republicans is the topic of a State House of Repres…

Social Issues

August is National Black Business Month, and this year, for Black-owned companies in Pennsylvania that have managed to survive through the pandemic…

Social Issues

On August 27, members of the public will have a rare opportunity to visit the historic Padlock Ranch first developed for livestock in 1867, now …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021