Bill Terminology

Find definitions about the charges and terminology on your bill. Click the letter the term starts with, or browse the entire glossary.

# A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

100 Watt Sodium Vapor

This is an outdoor light. The charge for this light is based on the wattage or size (e.g., 100-, 200- or 400-watt) of the specific light. Schedule 15 in Idaho and Oregon includes different wattages for area lighting and flood lighting. The appropriate lighting type and wattage is listed on the customer’s bill. The charge is determined within the rate schedule by wattage.

A/C Cool Credit

A/C Cool Credit pays a $5 bill credit for residential customers who allow Idaho Power to cycle (turn off and on) their central air conditioning (A/C) system on a few specific weekdays when summer demand for energy is high, or for other system needs.

Account Balance

The accumulated amount currently billed to the account.

Account Number

Your account is identified by a unique 10-digit number assigned by Idaho Power. If you receive service at more than one address, you may have more than one account number. You’ll need this number when paying your bill or contacting Idaho Power.

Amount Due

The amount owed that month to Idaho Power for your bill. If the account is on Budget Pay, this amount will reflect your budget balance.

Annual Power Cost Update (APCU)

The Annual Power Cost Update (APCU) consists of two annual filings that become effective for our Oregon customers on June 1 each year. The combined effect of the two filings adjust rates up or down based on net power supply expenses, including fuel costs, purchased power and resale rates. The first component, the annual October Update, allows Idaho Power to update base rates to reflect current power supply costs, assuming normal or average power generated by our hydroelectric plants. The second component, the March Forecast, allows us to temporarily adjust rates for one year to reflect the anticipated actual costs of supplying power to our customers based on our cost forecast for the coming year. The APCU is identified on customers’ bills as Annual PCA.

Auto Pay

With Auto Pay, your monthly electric bill is withdrawn automatically from your bank account.

Average Daily Energy Use

Compares average daily electricity usage for the past 13 months.

Balance Forward

The balance forward amount from your previous bill. It could be a debit or credit on your bill.

Basic Charge

Basic Load Capacity (BLC) is the average of the two greatest nonzero monthly Billing Demands established during the 12-month period that includes and ends with the current billing period. Whenever a customer has not established 12-months of Billing Demand, the BLC is computed by taking the two greatest billing demands using the available history. The Basic Charge, billed on the basis of BLC, recovers a portion of the capacity-related costs of the distribution facilities, which includes substations, primary lines and transformers.

BLC (Basic Load Capacity)

The Basic Load Capacity is calculated primarily for large commercial and industrial customers. It also is used to calculate the Basic Charge on these customers’ bills. The BLC is the average kilowatts (kW) used during the two months of greatest electricity demand over the past 12 months, including the current month. It is recalculated each month.

Billing Date

The date your bill was prepared.

Billing kW

The Billing kW is the average kilowatts (kW) supplied during the 15-minute consecutive period of maximum use during the billing period. This number may be adjusted for power factor.

Boardman Operating Life Adjustment

This charge is for Oregon customers only. It’s designed to recover the revenue requirement impact of the costs and benefits associated with the early shut down of the Boardman Power Plant.

Budget Balance

The monthly balance due for an account on Budget Pay.

Budget Pay

This plan spreads your electricity charges evenly over a 12-month period. The Budget Pay amount is based on your average monthly billing. Learn more about Budget Pay.

Current Bill

The current bill includes all charges for electrical service during the current billing period. It may also include late payment charges, if previous charges were not paid prior to the current bill’s print date.

Current Charges

The current billing amount for electric service. If your account is on Budget Pay, or another payment arrangement, this amount may be different than the Amount Due and pay stub sections of your bill.

Demand Charge

Demand, represented by kilowatts (kW), measures the rate at which energy is used at a point in time. Billing Demand is the average kW supplied during the 15-consecutive-minute period of maximum use during the billing period. The Demand Charge recovers a portion of the capacity-related costs associated with the generation and transmission of electricity.


A deposit is sometimes required when you set up new service. It is not prepayment of your bill. The deposit payment is held as security for future payment and is reimbursable after good credit is established with Idaho Power.

Due Date

The date by which Idaho Power should receive your payment to avoid late charges. Idaho customers are assessed a monthly late charge of 1% of any unpaid balance and Oregon customers are assessed a monthly late charge of 2.3% of any unpaid balance.

Energy Charge

Kilowatt-hour (kWh) is a measurement of the amount of electricity used over time. The Energy Charge, billed on the basis of kWh, collects energy-related generation costs in addition to recovering a portion of the capacity-related costs of distribution facilities that includes substations, primary lines and transformers.

Energy Efficiency Services

Energy Efficiency Services provides financial support for Idaho Power’s energy efficiency programs. This amount includes the Energy Efficiency Rider.

Energy Used (kWh)

The number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) the meter records during the billing cycle.

Facility Charge

The amount charged to some industrial customers for Idaho Power equipment located beyond the primary meter.

Federal Columbia River Benefits Supplied by BPA

Idaho and Oregon irrigation and residential customers may qualify to receive a credit as part of the Federal Columbia River Power System benefits supplied by Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). These benefits, shared among residential and small farm customers, are a result of a five-year settlement Idaho Power negotiated with BPA in 2001.

Final Bill

The final closing bill for service at your location.

Fixed-Cost Adjustment

The Fixed-Cost Adjustment (FCA) annually adjusts rates up or down to recover the difference between the fixed costs authorized by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (IPUC) and the actual fixed costs Idaho Power recovers from customers through energy sales during the previous year. The FCA applies to Idaho residential and small general service customers only. It takes effect on June 1 each year.

Franchise Fee

Reflects part of the amount Idaho and Oregon cities charge Idaho Power for placing power lines on city property. Idaho Power signs a “franchise” with city governments for this privilege. The fees are collected by Idaho Power and passed directly to the local government entity. The fee may be between 1 and 3% of the customer’s bill, depending on applicable government regulations.

Generation Meter

The meter that records generation by producers with generating plants (solar, wind, biomass, hydropower or fuel cell) for supplying electric power required in their residential, commercial or industrial operations.

Horsepower (HP)

Horsepower for a specific irrigation pump.

Interest Applied

The dollar amount accrued on deposits while in possession of Idaho Power. The interest rate is set by the Idaho Public Utility Commission and the Public Utilities Commission of Oregon annually.

In Season/Out-of-Season Rates

Irrigation customers pay in-season and out-of-season rates instead of summer and non-summer rates. The irrigation season will begin with the customer’s meter reading for the May billing period and end with the customer’s meter reading for the September billing period.

Kilowatt (kW)

A unit of measure of the amount of electricity needed to operate given equipment. One kilowatt is equal to 1,000 watts.

Kilowatt-hour (kWh)

The unit Idaho Power uses to measure your electricity usage each month. Kilowatt-hour is the most commonly used unit of measure showing the amount of electricity consumed over time.

Late Payment Charge

A fee equal to 1% in Idaho and 2.3% in Oregon of the past due balance (amount owed to Idaho Power). It occurs when Idaho Power has not received payment by the due date.

Meter Constant

A numeric field found on the front of the meter and used to calculate the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) used at your service address each month. For example, a meter constant of 7 means for each kWh used registered on the meter, 7 kilowatt-hours of electricity have been used. Most residential customers have a meter constant of 1, while larger power customers may have a higher meter constant.

Meter Number

The identifying number on the front of your meter.

New Contact Information

If you need to update your contact information with us, including mailing address and phone number, details about where to send us that new information are on the back of the bill stub. Registered My Account users may also update their information online.

Next Read Date

The next time the account’s meter is scheduled to be read.

Oregon Solar Investment

This charge is for Oregon customers only. It’s designed to recover costs associated with the development of a pilot program for solar photovoltaic energy systems mandated by Oregon House Bill 3690.

Payments Received

The total amount of payments Idaho Power has received from the date of your previous bill to the date the current bill was generated.

Pay Station

Pay stations allow you to pay your electricity bill in person at stores and businesses in communities throughout the company’s service area. Many pay stations offer the convenience of longer business hours and the ability to conduct business on weekends. For faster service, bring a copy of your most recent bill, or your 10-digit Idaho Power account number along with your payment.

Power Cost Adjustment (PCA)

The Annual Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) reflects the impact stream flow conditions have on the cost of generating electricity. The PCA includes the cost of fuel for coal and/or natural gas-fired generating units owned by the company as well as buying power from the wholesale energy market. PCA expenses are offset by any sale to other utilities of surplus electricity generated by Idaho Power throughout the year. The PCA adjusts rates up or down depending upon actual power costs incurred by the company.

Power Cost Adjustment Mechanism (PCAM)

The PCAM is the difference between actual net power supply expenses incurred and the net power supply expenses recovered for the preceding January through December from Oregon customers. The PCAM is a deferral account that will be recovered through an Annual Power Supply Expense True-Up rate. PCAM information can be found under Oregon Schedule 56.

Power Cost and Fixed Cost Adjustments

The Power Cost and Fixed Cost Adjustments are a combination of several rider charges applied to the bill in a per kilowatt-hour (kWh) manner. It includes the Power Cost Adjustment (PCA), the Fixed Cost Adjustment (FCA) and can include other charges applied in a similar manner.

Previous Balance

The amount from the last or a previous bill.

Previous and Current Reading

The measuring components of an electric meter are read each month to determine the usage amount for billing customers. The previous meter reading amount is what was recorded the month prior; the current amount is for the current month. The previous reading is subtracted from the current reading to determine the kilowatt-hours (kWh) used during the current billing cycle.

Print Date

The day the bill was printed.

Project Share

Idaho Power partners with The Salvation Army throughout the year to help those who cannot pay winter heating bills due to illness, disability, age or unemployment. Project Share helps people pay electric, natural gas, propane, oil or firewood bills. Your pledge can help someone less fortunate meet the demands of winter heating and summer cooling. The back of your bill stub has a place to mark the pledge amount you wish to add to your monthly bill amount, or you can pledge online.

Power Factor

Reflects the amount of extra work (measured in volt-amperes) needed to provide electricity to some industrial customers. This is a value between zero and 1.0. Customers with less efficient equipment (which use more energy than necessary to supply the required watts) will have a power factor lower than 1.0. The power factor is calculated for each customer by dividing the maximum demand (measured in kilowatts) by the kilovolt-ampere (kVa) demand established by the customer.

Power Factor Adjustment

When a customer’s power factor is less than 90% (0.90), as measured under actual load conditions, Idaho Power may adjust the kilowatts (kW) demanded that month to reflect the extra volts-amperes generated to meet that demand. The adjusted demand is figured by multiplying the measured kW (as shown on the meter) by 90%, and dividing by the customer’s unique power factor.


Any time a change is made to the rate or billing period, the bill is prorated to correspond with the change. For example, if you sign up for service on the 10th of the month, your account will be “prorated,” or charged only for that time frame. Prorated billing also happens if electricity rates change mid-month and Idaho Power needs to calculate part of the month at a different rate.

Rate Schedule

Identifies rate category for your service address. This determines the rate you are billed. These include the following:

  • I01, I05 or O01—Residential
  • I06—Residential Service On-Site Generation
  • I07 or O07—Small General Service (Small Commercial)
  • I08—Small General Service On-Site Generation
  • I09, O09 (P, S or T)—Large General Service (Large Commercial)
  • I19, O19 (P, S or T)—Large Power Service (Industrial)
  • I24, O24, I25 (S, SB, C, or CB)—Irrigation Service

Find a full list of Idaho Power’s rate schedules and an explanation of each schedule’s regulations.

Reading Type

Identifies how the meter read was made. Different reading types include:

  • Regular: Usage is determined by reading your meter electronically or by an Idaho Power meter specialist.
  • Estimated: Usage is determined by estimating your read based on past energy use or the past usage history of your location. This may be done when your meter cannot be located or accessed.
  • Verified: Usage for a manual read meter is verified by an Idaho Power meter specialist.
  • Customer: Usage is determined by the customer reading their own meter. This option is only available if Idaho Power is unable to access the meter.

Service Address

The address where the account’s service is delivered.

Service Agreement Number

An identification number for service at a particular address. It serves as an agreement to the terms and conditions by which 1) Idaho Power provides service to a customer and 2) the customer agrees to pay the company.

Service Charge

The Service Charge is a fixed monthly charge that recovers costs which do not vary with a change in energy consumption. These costs include the investment in the service line and meter as well as the costs of meter reading and billing.

Service Establishment Charge

A one-time fee required to start electric service at an address. Normally, it is included on your first bill.

Service Level

The service level is a segment of customers within one rate schedule, based on the amount of voltage required by the customer. The three service levels are as follows:

  • S — Secondary Service is taken at 480 volts or less, or where the definitions of Primary Service and Transmission Service do not apply. Idaho Power is responsible for providing the transformation of power voltage to the level at which it is to be used by the customer taking Secondary Service.
  • P — Primary Service is service at 12.5 kilovolts (kV) to 34.5 kV. A customer taking Primary Service is responsible for providing the transformation (step-down) of power to the voltage at which it is to be used by that customer.
  • T — Transmission Service is service taken at 45 kV or higher. A customer taking Transmission Service is responsible for providing the transformation of power to the voltage at which it is to be used.

Service Period

The start and end dates for a specific bill. These dates are approximately the same each month.

Solar Photovoltaic Pilot Program Rider

This charge is for Oregon customers only. It is designed to recover costs associated with the development of a pilot program for solar photovoltaic energy systems mandated by Oregon House Bill 3690.

Time of Day (TOD) Rates

A rate system for customers designed to reflect the higher energy costs during the peak months of the year and hours of the day.

Both the energy charge and the demand charge (see Rate Schedule) may vary by hour and month.

Get more information about our Time of Use Plan, or contact us.


The practical unit of power defined as the rate at which energy is delivered or consumed. The basic unit for measuring the power used by an electrical device.

# A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z