State and Local Policy Database


State Scorecard Rank



14.5Scored out of 50Updated 12/2020
State Government
Score: 2 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.

Government Leading by Example: The State Energy Office assists rural cities and counties in implementing cost-effective energy efficient measures, energy conservation and renewable energy projects on existing government buildings.

Last Updated: June 2018

Equity Metrics and Workforce DevelopmentList All

The state's energy plans or electrification strategies do not currently establish specific policies or equity-related metrics to ensure access for underserved customers, nor do they include specific measures to prioritize clean energy workforce development.

Last Updated: September 2020

Carbon Pricing PoliciesList All

The State of Idaho does not yet have carbon pricing policies in place.

At this time, neither the state nor the utilities track avoided GHG emissions through energy efficiency programs, and the utilities do not currently include emissions reductions within benefit-cost testing calculations.

Last Updated: July 2020

Building Energy Disclosure List All

There is no disclosure policy in place.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Public Building Requirements List All

Idaho statute mandates that all facilities owned, constructed or financed by any state agency must adhere to the building codes adopted by the state. The state has not set any energy savings targets, but the Idaho Office of Energy and Mineral Resources voluntarily uses Energy Star Portfolio Manager to track energy use in several state government-owned buildings.

Under the Government Leading by Example program, run by Idaho Office of Energy and Mineral Resources (OEMR), applicants are encouraged to use ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager program to demonstrate energy use in the buildings OEMR will audit. However, this is not a mandatory activity for the program.

Last Updated: July 2020

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 Reviewed: July 2020

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 Reviewed: July 2020

Research & Development List All

The Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) is a research and education consortium bringing together Idaho National Laboratory, Boise State University, Idaho State University, the University of Idaho, and the University of Wyoming. CAES provides a collaborative, multi-mission environment that integrates resources to create new research capabilities and enhance energy-related educational opportunities. CAES-affiliated members 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: nuclear energy, energy-water nexus, cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing, and innovative energy systems. The main CAES research facility—located near University of Idaho/Idaho State University’s Idaho Falls campus and most of INL’s in-town facilities — is a 55,000-square-foot building that includes eight laboratories with state-of-the-art research equipment and offices for CAES personnel. 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 Idaho National Laboratory also conducts research on energy efficiency concepts. Idaho National Laboratory’s Energy and Environment Science and Technology Directorate (EES&T) is responding to national transitions in power generation, expanded development of renewable energy systems and limited water resources. It offers innovations in transportation systems, clean energy, advanced manufacturing and environmental sustainability. The lab works to improve energy storage and electric vehicle systems based on scientific understanding, uncertainty analysis, testing and validation. The Biomass Feedstock National User Facility is helping industry deploy biomass-based fuels and chemicals by providing proof-of-concept tests. At the micro-grid test bed, INL experts test dynamic storage and load-balancing options. Laboratory engineers are helping put these concepts into practice in isolated U.S. communities and at U.S. military bases around the world. INL also is building an integrated energy test bed to understand the technical issues associated with coupling nuclear, renewable and fossil energy sources to produce electrical and nonelectrical energy products. In addition, INL is working to develop manufacturing processes with net-zero waste and new ways to convert carbon into useful fuel sources. The lab’s exceptional talent and effective partnerships are the essential elements of research with impact.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Score: 5.5 out of 9
Buildings Summary List All

The State of Idaho adopted the 2018 IRC and IECC residential provisions as well as the 2018 IECC commercial provisions, both with amendments, during the 2020 legislative session. Both codes will take effect on January 1, 2021. This code adoption will replace Idaho’s current building code standards and bring all jurisdictions with building codes up to the 2018 IECC standard. Idaho statute prohibits local jurisdictions from adopting more stringent building codes than what is adopted by the state.

Residential Codes List All

The Idaho State Legislature adopted the 2018 IRC and IECC residential provisions with amendments during the 2020 legislative session; these codes will take effect on January 1, 2021. This code adoption will replace Idaho’s current building code standards and bring all jurisdictions with building codes up to the 2018 IECC standard. 

The 2018 IECC suite of codes was amended to meet Idaho needs. The changes included: a blower door testing program for residential builders; energy rating index table for Idaho’s climate zones; and window u-factors and insulation tables based on Idaho’s climate zones. Approximately 96% of Iocal jurisdictions are covered by building codes adopted by the state. 

Last Reviewed: September 2020

Commercial Code List All

The Idaho State Legislature adopted the 2018 IECC commercial provisions with amendments during the 2020 legislative sessions; these codes will take effect on January 1, 2021. This code adoption will replace Idaho’s current building code standards and bring all jurisdictions with building codes up to the 2018 IECC standard.

The 2018 IECC suite of codes was amended to meet Idaho needs. The changes included: energy rating index table for Idaho’s climate zones; and window u-factors and insulation tables based on Idaho’s climate zones. Approximately 96% of Iocal jurisdictions are covered by building codes adopted by the state.

Last Reviewed: September 2020

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: A residential energy code compliance study was conducted in Idaho in 2018, available here. 98% of homes observed in the study were in compliance. The study used the prescriptive method when evaluating compliance, reviewing whether each component within a house met a specific standard. The study was conducted by Idaho's Circuit Rider, who is funded through the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA).
  • Utility Involvement: Idaho does not have regulatory guidelines for utility involvement in building energy code development; however, several investor-owned utilities have supported building energy code compliance through their participation with the state in Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) activities and utility-sponsored training.
  • Stakeholder Advisory Group: The Idaho Energy Code Collaborative discusses code compliance, and most of the energy training provided by its members is now focused on increasing compliance throughout the state.
  • Training/Outreach: The Division of Building Safety (DBS) maintains a training center that offers NEEA-funded on-going training and compliance classes for builders, contractors and code officials. NEEA also funds a state Energy Circuit Rider who collaborates with a few other contractors to travel to more remote portions of the state to provide code certification and as requested compliance training.

Last Updated: September 2020

CHP Summary List All

The state has financing available for renewable- and biomass-fueled CHP, but otherwise has limited regulations or policies to encourage the deployment of CHP systems. No new CHP systems were installed in 2018.

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 2018

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 Reviewed: July 2019

Deployment IncentivesList All

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

Last Reviewed: July 2019

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 2018

Score: 6 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.

Last reviewed: July 2019

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 reviewed: July 2019

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 reviewed: July 2019

Energy Efficiency Resource Standards List All

There is currently no EERS in place.  

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

Last reviewed: July 2019

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 reviewed: July 2019

Evaluation, Measurement, & Verification List All
  • Primary cost-effectiveness test(s) used: utility cost test (Avista, PacifiCorp)

  • Secondary cost-effectiveness test(s) used: total resource cost test and participant cost test 

Each utility is required to conduct an impact and process evaluation of its energy efficiency programs every 2-3 years. Avista and PacifiCorp use the utility cost test as their primary cost effectiveness test but Idaho Power Company does not. Idaho Power Company was directed in Order No. 33365 to screen potential programs using the TRC, UCT, and PCT as a guideline and to advise the Commission on how each program fared under each test. In the Order, IPC was also instructed when seeking prudency that it may, but not exclusively, emphasize the UCT to demonstrate Company-controlled benefits and costs- to argue whether the programs were cost-effective (Order No. 33365, 2015, p.9).

Further information on cost-effectiveness screening practices for Idaho is available in the Database of State Efficiency Screening Practices (DSESP), a resource of the National Efficiency Screening Project (NESP). Further information on health and environmental benefits is available in ACEEE’s Overview of State Approaches to Account for Health and Environmental Benefits of Energy Efficiency

Last reviewed: July 2019

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 reviewed: July 2019

Self Direct and Opt-Out Programs List All

Idaho Power offers its largest customers an option to self-direct the energy efficiency funds that are collected through a customer bill rider. Customers have three years to complete projects and have all the 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 Rate Schedule 19 and special contract customers. Neither Avista nor PacifiCorp operate self-direct programs in Idaho. 

In the past, Avista has not employed opt-out or self-direct programs. PacifiCorp does not have opt-out provisions for customers but has negotiated special contracts, which are approved by the Commission on a case-by-case basis. 

PacifiCorp does not conduct evaluations for savings on special contracts. Idaho Power has all its energy efficiency programs evaluated on a periodic basis of around 2-3 years, including both process and impact evaluations. Customers participating in the self-directed funds option are subject to the same evaluation process as participants in the cost-share option, which may be assessed internally or by third-party contractors (Idaho Power’s Demand Side Management Report: Supplement 2; Evaluation, page 1).

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 reviewed: July 2019

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 reviewed: July 2019

Score: 1 out of 12
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

While not a state-wide tailpipe emission standard, Idaho’s largest metropolitan area, the Treasure Valley (which includes Ada and Canyon counties), does require tailpipe emissions testing programs. Idaho’s Department of Environmental Quality holds certain cut-points to test against for the two counties.

Last Reviewed: June 2020

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 Reviewed: July 2020

Transit Funding List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Reviewed: July 2020

Incentives for High-Efficiency Vehicles List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Reviewed: July 2020

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 Reviewed: July 2020
Appliance Standards
Score: 0 out of 3
Appliance Standards Summary List All

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

Last Reviewed: June 2019