Settlement would raise rates but initiate credits
Avista Corp. has reached a proposed settlement over the company’s request for higher electric and natural gas rates for Idaho customers.
If approved by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, the settlement would result in a 1.1 percent increase in base electric rates and a 1.6 percent increase in natural gas rates effective Oct. 1.
However, the bottom line for customers is a net decrease in power costs, based on several credits that would take effect at the same time, said Jessie Wuerst, an Avista spokeswoman.
Customers will get a credit on their power bills reflecting lower wholesale rates for energy, Wuerst said. A recent settlement with Bonneville Power Administration also boosts a credit to residential and small farm electric customers, aimed at spreading the benefits from the federal hydropower system across the Northwest.
“While there’s a slight increase in the base rate … when you factor everything together, there’s a net decrease,” Wuerst said.
If the settlement is approved, a typical residential customer would see a 2.1 percent reduction in his or her electric bill. Bills would drop $1.78 per month to $82.02 based on 956 kilowatt-hours of electricity used.
A typical natural gas customer would save 27 cents each month, for a monthly bill of $60.49 based on 62 therms of natural gas.
sponsored According to two 2015 surveys, 62 percent of Americans do not have enough savings to handle an unexpected emergency, much less any long-term plans.