(AP) An increase in what you pay for electricity may be in your future, thanks to new federal rules. The Public Utilities Regulatory Policies act, known as PURPA, has increased costs to power producers through incentives to promote renewable energy. Those costs have increased about 25 percent in the last year. To keep up with expenses, power producers like Idaho Power need to increase their rates to customers. Idaho Power has asked the Idaho Public Utilities Commission for a nearly 3.8-percent increase in residential rates which would mean an average increase of just under $3.00 per month for the average household. It is also asking for a 5.1- percent increase in rates for irrigation. Idaho Power is asking the PUC to change the way prices are set for PURPA products to take into account factors such as whether the power generated is needed. Strong stream flows have helped hydropower generation meet many Northwest energy companies’ demands this year.

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