State and Local Policy Database


State Scorecard Rank



13.0Scored out of 50Updated 9/2016
State Government
Score: 3 out of 7
State Government Summary List All

Idaho offers several consumer incentives for energy efficiency investments, including a tax deduction, a loan, and a grant. The state government leads by example by encouraging energy savings performance contracting, although it did allow its public building requirements to sunset and does not have benchmarking requirements for public buildings or fuel efficiency requirements for fleets. Research and development focused on energy efficiency is conducted at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies.

Financial Incentives List All

Financial Incentive information for Idaho is provided by the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE Idaho). Information about additional incentives not present on DSIRE is listed here.

Incentives for Energy Efficiency in Schools: Idaho’s Fundamental Commissioning and Integrated Design legislation (33-356 Idaho Code) was passed with the intent of allowing school districts to save money by constructing buildings that are more energy-efficient and create better working and learning spaces.  The legislation anticipates that school districts will recoup their additional up-front costs over a five year period through relief from the districts’ share of the building replacement cost contributions required under Section 33-1019 (1), Idaho Code.

Last Updated: July 2016

Building Energy Disclosure List All

There is no disclosure policy in place.

Last Updated: July 2016

Public Building Requirements List All

The Idaho Office of Energy Resources voluntarily uses Energy Star Portfolio Manager to track several state government-owned buildings.  

Last Updated: July 2016

Fleets List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Note: For state efficient fleet initiatives, policies listed must make a specific, mandatory requirement for increasing state fleet efficiency. State alternative-fuel vehicle procurement requirements that give a voluntary option to count efficient vehicles are thus not included.

Last Updated: July 2016

Energy Savings Performance Contracting List All

Idaho’s Performance Contracting Program is administered by the Department of Administration and provides a series of resources, including a step-by-step guide to ESPCs and sample documents (such as model contracts).

Last Updated: July 2016

Research & Development List All

The Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) is research consortium including Idaho National Laboratory (INL), the State of Idaho, Boise State University, Idaho State University, the University of Idaho, and the University of Wyoming. The mission of CAES is to leverage the interests and capabilities of members to engage in impactful energy and related research, development, and demonstration; to advanced regional workforce development; and enhance the competitive position of US industry. The Center’s core capabilities lie in the areas of materials science and engineering, nuclear science and engineering, energy systems design and analyses, fossil carbon conversion, geological systems and applications, energy policy, and environmental and resource sustainability. CAES includes embedded centers of excellence in the areas of autonomous systems and energy efficiency. The main CAES facility, a 55,000 sq ft research center, is collocated with the Idaho Falls campus of Idaho National Laboratory and the University Place campus of University of Idaho and Idaho State University. The facility includes offices, meeting rooms, and laboratories with state of the art equipment for radiochemical, materials, transportation, and geophysics research and has access to supercomputing and visualization resources, and is a "portal" to leverage collective capabilities of member institutions. The Center has competitively won over $110 M in research grants over 7 years and has an active industry outreach program ongoing. 

Last Updated: July 2016

Score: 5 out of 7
Buildings Summary List All

Effective January 1, 2015, the 2012 IECC became mandatory statewide for residential and commercial new construction, the latter with reference to ASHRAE 90.1-2010. Weakening amendments make the residential code equivalent to the 2009 IECC. Several jurisdictions have adopted stricter standards through their local ordinance processes: Blaine county, Idaho Falls, Ammon, Hailey, and Ketchum. The state has implemented several activities to ensure code compliance.

Residential Codes List All

Effective January 1, 2015, the 2012 IECC became mandatory statewide for residential and commercial new construction, the latter with reference to ASHRAE 90.1-2010. However, the state incorporated amendments to the residential codes that removed all the energy efficiency improvements from the 2012 IECC, so that the codes are still equivalent to the 2009 IECC. 

Last Updated: June 2016

Commercial Code List All

Effective January 1, 2015, the 2012 IECC became mandatory statewide for commercial new construction, with reference to ASHRAE 90.1-2010.

Last Updated: June 2016

Compliance List All
  • Gap Analysis/Strategic Compliance Plan: In June 2011, the Idaho Energy Codes Collaborative published a plan for 90% Compliance with the 2009 IECC by 2017, tasked by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. 
  • Baseline & Updated Compliance Studies: Starting in June of 2010, the Idaho Division of Building Safety (DBS), through an agreement with the Idaho Office of Energy Resources (OER), developed and implemented The Idaho Energy Code Compliance Database for tracking compliance. The database has been fully operational since June of 2012. Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), with additional support from Idaho Power and Avista Utilities, has also completed study of residential energy code compliance in Idaho with positive results: using three different methodologies, estimated compliance rates were 90%, 83% and 109%. The greater than 100% result from energy modeling shows that many homes are going beyond the minimum requirements.
  • Utility Involvement: NA
  • Stakeholder Advisory Group: The Idaho Energy Code Collaborative discusses code compliance, but that is not the main focus.
  • Training/Outreach: The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) provides funding for training; the Division of Building Safety provides HVAC and Energy code trainings. The OER and DBS work in cooperation with stakeholders of the Idaho Energy Code Collaborative to provide energy code trainings for builders, contractors and building officials in all geographic regions of Idaho. Direct assistance for energy code compliance is available throughout Idaho. Energy Code trainings are also available through DBS, Idaho Association of Building Officials (IDABO) and other members of the Idaho Energy Code Collaborative.

Last Updated: September 2016

Score: 0.5 out of 4
CHP Summary List All

The state has an incentive program for CHP, but otherwise has limited regulations or policies to encourage the deployment of CHP systems. Two new CHP systems were installed in 2015.

Interconnection StandardsList All

There is currently no interconnection standard in place that applies to CHP.

For more information on interconnection standards, click here.

Last Updated: June 2016

Encouraging CHP as a ResourceList All

There are currently no state policies designed to acquire energy savings from CHP (like other efficiency resources) or energy generation from CHP (in terms of kWh production) that apply to all forms of CHP.

Last Updated: June 2016

Deployment IncentivesList All

Incentives, grants, or financing: Retrofit projects that incorporate CHP may be eligible for Idaho’s Low-Interest Energy Loan Programs.

Last Updated: June 2016

Additional Supportive PoliciesList All

There are some additional supportive policies to encourage CHP.  Through its Renewable Energy Project Bond Program, the state allows independent (non-utility) developers of renewable energy projects to request financing from the Idaho Energy Resources Authority. The Idaho Statewide Wood Energy Team, which encourages sustainable biomass utilization, also provides grants and technical assistance for biomass CHP projects. 

Last Updated: June 2016

Score: 3.5 out of 20
Utilities Summary List All

Idaho's investor-owned utilities administer energy efficiency programs with oversight from the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC). In the past, Idaho has seen notable energy savings from efficiency programs, but recently spending on energy efficiency has diminished, leading to lower levels of savings. Energy efficiency programs are supported and supplemented by regional organizations, including the Bonneville Power Administration, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance and the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. Idaho has not restructured its electric utility industry and there is no legislation requiring funding for energy efficiency programs.

In 2001, the PUC ordered Idaho Power to file a comprehensive DSM plan and to implement programs. In 2002, the PUC created an energy efficiency rider to fund these programs. In 2006, the PUC required Pacificorp (via operating companies in Idaho, Utah Power and Light and Rocky Mountain Power) to file and implement a comprehensive DSM plan. The state uses an integrated resource planning process.

The most recent budgets for energy efficiency programs and electricity and natural gas savings can be found in the State Spending and Savings Tables.

Customer Energy Efficiency Programs List All

Idaho's investor-owned utilities administer and implement energy efficiency programs and are regulated by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Utilities recover the costs of offering programs via adding a tariff rider surcharge to customer bills. Idaho’s electric efficiency utility programs are not required by legislation.

In 1989, Regulatory Order 22299 required utilities to consider cost-effective energy efficiency measures for natural gas. 

The PUC requires utilities to file and implement demand-side management (DSM) plans. In 2001, the PUC ordered Idaho Power to file a comprehensive DSM plan and implement programs. In 2006, the PUC required Pacificorp (Utah Power and Light and Rocky Mountain Power) to file and implement a comprehensive DSM plan; the utility filed a new plan in 2009. Low-income programs are administered by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

The most recent budgets for energy efficiency programs and electricity and natural gas savings can be found in the State Spending and Savings Tables.

Last Updated: September 2016

Energy Efficiency as a Resource List All

Idaho's investor-owned utilities are required to prepare and file integrated resource plans (IRPs) that include comprehensive demand-side management plans.

Last Updated: September 2016

Energy Efficiency Resource Standards List All

There is currently no EERS in place.  

For more information on Energy Efficiency Resource Standards, click here.

Last Updated: September 2016

Utility Business Model List All

Idaho Power's decoupling mechanism, called a Fixed-Cost Adjustment (FCA), was designed to provide symmetry (a surcharge or credit) when fixed cost recovery per customer varies above or below a commission-established base. The FCA was first implemented on a pilot basis for a three-year period beginning January 1, 2007 and running through December 31, 2009. The pilot was extended for two years after that and made permanent on January 31, 2013 (See Order No. 32731 in Case No. IPC-E-11-19). The FCA applies to all residential and small commercial customers. The FCA also incorporates a 3% cap on annual increases and carries over unrecovered deferred costs to subsequent years. Rate increases and credits resulting from the FCA are distributed to residential and small general service customer classes equally on an energy use basis.

Idaho Power (IPC) was approved for a three-year pilot incentive program beginning in January 2007 and ending in December 2009. During the pilot, IPC received an incentive if the market share of homes constructed under the ENERGY STAR Homes Northwest program exceeded a target percentage of new homes constructed. IPC earned an incentive if the program exceeded the market share goal (7% in 2007, 9.8% in 2008, and 11.7% in 2009). Incentives were capped at 10% of program net benefits. Penalties were levied if IPC did not meet a minimum market share percentage. On March 11, 2009, IPC requested that the pilot be discontinued retroactively as of January 1, 2009 due to then-current economic conditions. Idaho Power requested an incentive, but the request was denied in 2013 (See Order No. 32766 in Case No. IPC-E-12-24).

Last Updated: September 2016

Evaluation, Measurement, & Verification List All
  • Cost-effectiveness test(s) used: TRC, UCT, PCT, RIM
  • Uses a deemed savings database: no

The evaluation of ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs in Idaho relies on regulatory orders. Evaluations are administered by the utilities. The Idaho PUC does not administer EM&V. IPUC reviews and analyzes the documentation.No rules or requirements are specified, but there is a January 2009 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among Commission Staff and the three electric Idaho investor-owned utilities. Evaluations for each of the utilities are conducted. Idaho uses four of the five classic benefit-cost tests identified in the California Standard Practice Manual. These are the Total Resource Cost (TRC), Utility/Programs Administrator (UCT), Participant (PCT), and Ratepayer Impact Measure (RIM). Idaho does not have a primary cost-effectiveness test that it relies upon. These benefit-cost tests are required for overall portfolio, total program, customer project, and individual measure level screening, with exceptions for low-income programs, pilots, and new technologies. Measure level screening has strictly applied tests.

Last Updated: September 2016

Guidelines for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs List All

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

In October 2012, PUC staff issued its draft report on low income weatherization and energy conservation education programs. In this report, the staff suggested criteria for how to evaluate requests for more weatherization funding. The staff also provided recommendations and comments on changes utilities could make regarding cost-effective calculations and procedures.

 In April 2013, the PUC largely adopted the staff’s recommendations regarding methodology for evaluating LIWAP and the criteria for increased funding in Order No. 32788, Case No. GNR-E-12-01. In this order, the PUC determined that a utility “may, but need not, include a 10% conservation preference adder for their low-income weatherization programs,” but that if the utility believes the adder would make its cost-effectiveness calculations inconsistent, then the company need not use the adder. The PUC encouraged the utilities to include non-energy benefits of LIWAPs when calculating cost effectiveness, but declined to construct a “specific cost-effectiveness test for low-income programs at this time.” Instead, the PUC vowed to continue reviewing LIWAPs on a case-by-case basis.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Division of Welfare, administers the Low Income Home Energy Assistance and Weatherization Programs in Idaho. The division subcontracts with the Community Action Partnership Association of Idaho (CAPAI) to provide weatherization, energy assistance, and community services block-grant services to low-income participants in Idaho. Utilities such as Idaho Power also offer weatherization assistance in conjunction with the state’s WAP program through ratepayer-funded Weatherization Assistance for Qualifying Customers (WAQC) program, which provides supplementary funding to CAP agencies for weatherization.

Last updated: April 2017

Self Direct and Opt-Out Programs List All

Idaho Power offers its largest customers an option to self-direct the 4% energy efficiency rider that appears on all customers’ bills.  Customers have three years to complete projects and have 100% of funds available to fund up to 100% of project costs.  Self-direct projects are subject to the same criteria as projects in other efficiency programs. 

More information on large customer self-direct programs can be found in the ACEEE report, Follow the Leaders: Improving Large Customer Self-Direct Programs.

Last Updated: September 2016

Data AccessList All

Idaho has no policy in place that requires utilities to release energy use data to customers or third parties. 

Last Updated: September 2016 

Score: 1 out of 10
Transportation Summary List All

The state has not focused its efforts on efficient transportation policies, leaving significant room for growth.

Tailpipe Emission Standards List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Updated: July 2015

Transportation System Efficiency List All

Transportation and Land use Integration: No policy in place or proposed.

VMT Targets: No policy in place or proposed.

Complete Streets: No policy in place or proposed.

MAP 21 Freight Plans and Goals: No policy in place or proposed.

Last Updated: July 2015

Transit Funding List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Updated: July 2015

Incentives for High-Efficiency Vehicles List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Updated: July 2015

Appliance Standards
Score: 0 out of 2
Appliance Standards Summary List All

Idaho has not set appliance standards beyond those required by the federal government.

Last Updated: July 2016