BOISE -- Alternative energy companies are at odds with Idaho Power over a proposed change in fees. Solar Power companies say Idaho Power is running them out of business, but Idaho Power says they're looking out for the hundreds of thousands of traditional customers. Idaho Power tells KTVB News they have about 400,000 residential customers.

They say that includes about 350 who use alternative energy from solar panels and wind power. Idaho Power says they want those customers to pay their fair share of the distribution system that they use to both take and provide power. But, solar panel companies say the higher fees will mean alternative energy simply won't be cost-effective for many, and could put small businesses out of business.

Idaho Power's proposal includes an increase of about $15 a month for the service fee to those who use alternative power, called net metered customers. Right now, that fee is $5, but the proposal would bump it up to $20.92. The plan also decreases the energy charge to those customers. It also adds a third demand charge. via