Wildfires and wind storms kept Idaho Power’s repair crews busy this summer. More than 800 structures were in the path of fires, but only 45 poles were actually destroyed.
Spokesperson Lynette Berriochoa says that maintenance crews clear vegetation around the poles before fire season begins.
“So as a result, when those fires move through, some of the fires move right around those wood poles and they were spared," says Berriochoa.
But Idaho Power still has a big bill to pick up after this summer’s damage.
“We’ve seen about $6 million in damage, and that’s just unprecedented," Berriochoa says. "We always experience some damage; some years are worse than others. And it’s part of our cost of doing business and making those repairs as quickly as we can.”
That $6 million price tag is a big jump from last year. The company only saw $600,000 worth of damage in 2011.
Berriochoa says Idaho Power makes projections about repairs in the company’s annual budget, but this year’s costs exceed the estimate for 2012. Customers could see an increase in rates as a reflection of these repairs, but not in the next year.
Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio