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State staff, Avista reach rate hike settlement

Fri., Oct. 19, 2012, 6:01 p.m.

State regulators recommend that Avista be allowed to raise electric and natural gas rates in Washington.

If the Washington Utilites and Transportation Commission this winter adopts a settlement reached by its staff and Avista, the Spokane utility will collect 2 percent more – or $9.25 million – in 2013 for electricity, and then another 2 percent – or $9.44 million – in 2014.

The rate increases, according to commission staff, are much less than the $41 million the company sought in its May request.

The settlement announced Friday afternoon also would bump natural gas rates. Avista would be able to collect 3.7 percent more for gas – or $5.3 million – next year. And in 2014 Avista would be allowed another 0.9 percent, or $1.4 million.

The settlement includes a provision that Avista would not seek further rate hikes until 2015.

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