State and Local Policy Database


State Scorecard Rank



16.5Scored out of 50Updated 9/2016
State Government
Score: 3 out of 6
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 2017

Building Energy Disclosure List All

There is no disclosure policy in place.

Last Updated: July 2017

Public Building Requirements List All

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

Last Updated: August 2017

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 2017

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 2017

Research & Development List All

The Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) is a public/private research center designed to fuel energy transitions and economic growth. The Center is a consortium of five partners: Idaho National Laboratory, University of Wyoming, Boise State University, Idaho State University, and University of Idaho. CAES provides a collaborative, multi-mission environment that integrates resources to create new research capabilities and enhance energy-related educational opportunities. CAES partners can expand the breadth of their research and provide rich, hands-on experiences for students, national laboratory scientists, and industry researchers by sharing laboratories, equipment, and ideas. Research areas span a range of energy topics including nuclear and materials science, geothermal energy systems, advanced manufacturing, and energy policy. Research is also conducted at each of the member institutions, giving CAES scientists and engineers, industry partners, and others access to a wide range of equipment, capabilities, and infrastructure. The CAES industry affiliate program, while serving national needs, focuses on regional businesses to drive economic growth. The program facilitates industry access to CAES collective R&D capabilities (people, partners, facilities) that can strengthen regional and national industry competitiveness.

Last Updated: July 2017

Score: 5.5 out of 8
Buildings Summary List All

Effective January 1, 2018, the 2015 IECC will become 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, 2018, the 2015 IECC will become mandatory statewide for residential new construction. However, the state incorporated amendments to the residential codes that make the code equivalent to the 2009 IECC. 

Last Updated: July 2017

Commercial Code List All

Effective January 1, 2018, the 2015 IECC will become mandatory statewide for commercial new construction, with reference to ASHRAE 90.1-2013.

Last Updated: July 2017

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 a 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) and Division of Building Safety (DBS) provide funding for training; the Division of Building Safety provides HVAC and energy code trainings. NEEA provides funding for the Idaho Energy Code Collaborative and the OEMR 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, the Idaho Association of Building Officials (IDABO) and other members of the Idaho Energy Code Collaborative.

Last Updated: July 2017

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: July 2017

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: July 2017

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: July 2017

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: July 2017

Score: 5.5 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). 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. 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: July 2017

Energy Efficiency as a Resource List All

Idaho's investor-owned utilities are required to prepare and file Integrated Resource Plans that include all cost effective and achievable energy efficiency as a resource.

Last Updated: July 2017

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: July 2017

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. Avista requested and was granted a similar FCA mechanism for electric and natural gas beginning January 2016.

Idaho does not offer energy efficiency performance incentives to its investor-owned utilities.

Last Updated: July 2017

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

Each utility is required to conduct an impact and process evaluation of its energy efficiency programs every 2-3 years. Programs are primarily evaluated on the UCT and TRC, but the participant test and RIM are also reported. Each utility maintains a TRM and incorporates deemed savings when applicable.

Last Updated: July 2017

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 recommended 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, some of which included the calculation of non-energy benefits.

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. The PUC encourages utilities to include non-energy benefits of LIWAPs when calculating cost effectiveness but currently declines to construct a specific cost-effectiveness test for low-income programs.

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 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: July 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. Self-direct options are only available to special contract customers.

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: July 2017

Data AccessList All

Guidelines for Third Party Access

Currently the state does not have provision(s) for the release of customer energy usage data. Individual utilities have platforms for individual customers to retrieve their own usage data and do provide third parties with individual customer usage data with customer consent. Data requirements, method of data transmission, and access is defined by utility policy upon customer consent.

Last Updated: July 2017

Score: 2 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 2017

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.

FAST Freight Plans and Goals: Idaho has a state freight plan that identifies a multimodal freight network, but it does not include freight energy or greenhouse gas reduction goals.

Last Updated: July 2017

Transit Funding List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Updated: July 2017

Incentives for High-Efficiency Vehicles List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Updated: July 2017

Equitable Access to TransportationList All
Idaho does not have any state programs in place to incentivize the creation of low-income housing near transit facilities, and it does not consider the proximity of transit facilities when distributing federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to qualifying property owners. Last Updated: July 2017
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: June 2017