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Idaho Power Files Application with Idaho Public Utilities Commission Regarding Advanced Metering Infrastructure

2008-08-04 16:11:00

Idaho Power Files Application with Idaho Public Utilities Commission Regarding Advanced Metering Infrastructure

    BOISE, Idaho, Aug. 4 /EMWNews/ -- IDACORP, Inc. (NYSE:

IDA) principal subsidiary Idaho Power today 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.

    Background Information / Safe Harbor Statement

    Boise, Idaho-based IDACORP, formed in 1998, is a holding company

comprised of Idaho Power Company, a regulated electric utility; IDACORP

Financial, a holder of affordable housing projects and other real estate

investments; and Ida-West Energy, an operator of small hydroelectric

generation projects that satisfy the requirements of the Public Utility

Regulatory Policies Act of 1978.

    Certain statements contained in this news release, including statements

with respect to future earnings, ongoing operations, and financial

conditions, are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of federal

securities laws. Although IDACORP and Idaho Power believe that the

expectations and assumptions reflected in these forward-looking statements

are reasonable, these statements involve a number of risks and

uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from the results

discussed in the statements. Factors that could cause actual results to

differ materially from the forward- looking statements include: changes in

and compliance with governmental policies, including new interpretations of

existing policies, and regulatory actions and regulatory audits, including

those of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the North American

Electric Reliability Corporation, the Western Electricity Coordinating

Council, the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, and the Oregon Public

Utility Commission with respect to allowed rates of return, industry and

rate structure, day-to-day business operations, acquisition and disposal of

assets and facilities, operation and construction of plant facilities,

provision of transmission services, including critical infrastructure

projects and reliability standards, relicensing of hydroelectric projects,

recovery of power supply costs, recovery of capital investments, present or

prospective wholesale and retail competition, including but not limited to

retail wheeling and transmission costs, and other refund proceedings;

changes arising from the Energy Policy Act of 2005; changes in tax laws or

related regulations or new interpretations of applicable law by the

Internal Revenue Service or other taxing jurisdiction; litigation and

regulatory proceedings, including those resulting from the energy situation

in the western United States, and penalties and settlements that influence

business and profitability; changes in and compliance with laws,

regulations, and policies including changes in law and compliance with

environmental, natural resources, endangered species and safety laws,

regulations and policies and the adoption of laws and regulations

addressing greenhouse gas emissions or global climate change; global

climate change and weather variations affecting customer demand and

hydroelectric generation; over-appropriation of surface and groundwater in

the Snake River Basin resulting in reduced generation at hydroelectric

facilities; construction of power generation, transmission and distribution

facilities, including an inability to obtain required governmental permits

and approvals, rights-of-way and siting, and risks related to contracting,

construction and start-up; operation of power generating facilities

including performance below expected levels, breakdown or failure of

equipment, availability of transmission and fuel supply; changes in

operating expenses and capital expenditures, including costs and

availability of materials, fuel and commodities; blackouts or other

disruptions of Idaho Power Company's transmission system or the western

interconnected transmission system; impacts from the formation of a

regional transmission organization or the development of another

transmission group; population growth rates and other demographic patterns;

market prices and demand for energy, including structural market changes;

fluctuations in sources and uses of cash; results of financing efforts,

including the ability to obtain financing on favorable terms, which can be

affected by factors such as credit ratings and general economic conditions;

actions by credit rating agencies, including changes in rating criteria and

new interpretations of existing criteria; changes in interest rates or

rates of inflation; performance of the stock market and changes in interest

rates, which affect the amount of required contributions to pension plans,

and the reported costs of providing pension and other postretirement

benefits; increases in health care costs and the resulting effect on

medical benefits paid for employees; increasing costs of insurance, changes

in coverage terms and the ability to obtain insurance; homeland security,

acts of war or terrorism; natural disasters and other natural risks, such

as earthquake, flood, drought, lightning, wind and fire; adoption of or

changes in critical accounting policies or estimates; and new accounting or

Securities and Exchange Commission requirements, or new interpretation or

application of existing requirements. Any such forward-looking statements

should be considered in light of such factors and others noted in the

companies' Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007,

and the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2008,

and other reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any

forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which such

statement is made. New factors emerge from time to time and it is not

possible for management to predict all such factors, nor can it assess the

impact of any such factor on the business or the extent to which any

factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially

from those contained in any forward-looking statement.

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Blake Masterson

Freelance Writer, Journalist and Father of 5

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