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Idaho PUC staff supports Avista’s proposal to hike rates

Thu., Feb. 7, 2013

Avista Corp. would raise electricity and natural gas rates this year in Idaho under a new agreement under consideration by utility regulators.

The company utility has 123,000 electricity and 75,000 natural gas customers in North Idaho.

If Idaho regulators agree, Avista’s Idaho natural gas rates will climb 4.9 percent on April 1, collecting an additional $3.1 million from customers.

It would raise gas rates a second time on Oct. 1 – a 2 percent increase for $1.3 million more in revenue – but would offset that with a credit from deferred gas costs, resulting in an annual rate increase of 0.3 percent.

A residential gas customer using an average 60 therms per month would pay an extra $2.82 per month starting April 1 and 31 cents more on Oct. 1, for a revised monthly bill of $55.68.

Electric customers would see their base rate go up 3.1 percent Oct. 1, giving Avista another $7.8 million. The net impact to customers, however, is a 1.9 percent increase because of a $3.9 million payment to Avista from the Bonneville Power Administration for transmission system use.

A residential electric customer using an average 930 kilowatt hours per month would pay $2.04 more on Oct. 1, for a revised monthly bill of $80.73.

The new rates need approval by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. The PUC’s staff supports the agreement.

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