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Lower gas prices will reduce Idaho heating bills

UPDATED: Mon., Oct. 26, 2015, 4:33 p.m.

Avista Utilities’ Idaho customers will pay less for natural gas this winter as a result of lower wholesale prices.

Natural gas rates will drop by 14.5 percent, beginning Sunday. A typical household, using 61 therms of gas each month, will see a monthly savings of $7.94.

In Washington, the utility’s request for a similar decrease in gas rates is pending before state regulators.

A portion of Avista’s natural gas rates fluctuate annually, based on weather, wholesale market prices, transportation costs and other factors. This year, gas prices dropped as a result of a warmer-than-normal winter, high inventories and continued high gas production.

The reduction is separate from Avista’s request to raise base rates for natural gas customers in Idaho by 3.5 percent, effective in January. The Idaho Public Utilities Commission is expected to act on the request in December.