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Avista gas bills in Washington decreasing

FRIDAY, JULY 1, 2011

Avista’s natural gas customers in Washington will see a slight decrease in their natural gas bills starting today as a result of changes to energy efficiency rebate and conservation funding. 

The decrease will represent about 2 percent on a typical residential customer’s bill, or a savings of a little more than $1 per month.

Energy efficiency and conservation rebate programs are funded through customers’ rates. Avista is lowering the amount it collects, based on the program’s history over the past year.

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission on Thursday approved Avista’s request to lower the amount collected. Each year, the commission requires utilities to “true up” the amount they collect each year for the programs and the amount they pay out in rebates and incentives.

Last year, more than 28,000 Avista gas customers in Washington received $13.3 million in rebates for participating in energy efficiency programs. The purchase of Energy Star appliances, installation of high-efficiency natural gas furnaces and upgrading windows and insulation were the most popular items.

The average residential rebate for a single-family home was $131. Low-income customers received about $1.5 million in weatherization upgrades.

Spokane-based Avista serves nearly 147,000 natural gas customers primarily in Eastern Washington. 

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