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Idaho utility aims to nix ag efficiency efforts

By The Associated Press
Published On: Jun 29 2013 07:58:08 AM MDT
farmland
BOISE, Idaho -

 A utility that serves 70,000 customers in southeastern Idaho wants to end a program where it replaced old irrigation equipment for farmers for free, on grounds it's no longer cost-effective.
    
Rocky Mountain Power is seeking approval to suspend two portions of an Agricultural Energy Services program.
    
The first is an exchange where farmers exchange worn nozzles, gaskets or drains for equivalent new equipment at no cost.
    
The second provides financial incentives to irrigators when they make pivot and linear equipment improvements.
    
But Rocky Mountain Power says an outside consultant it hired has determined that the programs are no longer saving any money.
    
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission said Friday that it's taking public comment on whether to allow Rocky Mountain to dump the program.
    
The comment period ends July 15.