New EPA regualtions could affect your power bill

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - The EPA has until 2015 to set final standards for coal fired power plants. With so many unknowns it could end up costing more as Idaho Power tries to update it's current plants.

Idaho Power has part ownership in three coal plants. One in Wyoming, Nevada, and a small stake in an Oregon plant.

Idaho Power was already getting set to spend $130 million for upgrades to their two main plants. Depending on what the EPA sets for a standard it could cost more bring them up to the new standards.

The Obama administration will put out a preliminary plan in the middle of next year. Officials with Idaho Power said while it hard dealing with so many uncertainties. It is apart of being a utility.

"It would be much easier to plan if we knew what every regulation might be not just on the coal side of the business, but on all sides of the business," said Tom Harvey of Idaho Power.

Not all regulations add to cost. Recently the company had to make updates to meet mercury and air toxins which had almost not effect on their plants, but did cost more for some in the Eastern US.

No matter what the new regulations turn out to be it's likely those cost will be past onto customers over several years. If the increase approved by the Idaho Utility Commission.

Even with the extra cost Idaho Power claims they still need coal to meet peak demand. They plan on keeping their share of the plants in Wyoming and Nevada. Although the one in Oregon will be closed by 2020.