SANDPOINT – Dozens of North Idaho Avista customers, some waiting over three hours, testified at the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC) telephone public hearing Wednesday evening.
All who spoke shared with the PUC their hope that the state commission and electric utility address climate change in a meaningful and responsible way, including a quicker transition to 100% clean energy. Many also requested that the PUC require Avista to account for the social cost of using electricity from coal-fired power plants when making decisions about the energy mix in Idaho. It’s currently Avista’s practice to do so for its Washington customers, when making energy resource decisions, but not for those who live in Idaho.
Matt Nykiel, ICL’s North Idaho conservation associate, said, “ICL deeply thanks all the Idahoans who spoke last night and those who tried but may have dropped off because the meeting lasted so long. We also want to thank the PUC for holding this public hearing to listen to the concerns of Idahoans who unanimously support clean energy.”
Although the PUC has held public hearings during a utility’s Integrated Resource Plan discussions in the past, the practice, in general, is to accept written comments only. The deadline to provide written comments to the PUC on Avista is August 19. To learn more and submit a personal comment visit: https://p2a.co/Xj9wg4U
Over the next few months, all three of Idaho’s electric utilities (Avista, Idaho Power, PacifiCorp) will come before the PUC to unveil their new long term plans. These Integrated Resource Plans, as they’re called, examine the costs, reliability, and risks of the utility company’s energy sources and new resources over a 20-year period.
ICL protects Idaho’s air quality and climate stability by working to eliminate Idaho’s reliance on fossil fuels for electricity. ICL engages with Idaho utilities, regulators, and customers to create policies that encourage developing Idaho’s own clean energy sources. Unlike out-of-state fossil fuels, solar, wind and geothermal power is produced right here in Idaho and puts electricians, home builders and other local companies to work.