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Avista’s Idaho customers could get break on natural gas bills

Avista’s Idaho customers could get a break on their natural gas bills, beginning Nov. 1.

The Spokane-based utility filed a request with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission Monday for an adjustment in natural gas rates, based on lower wholesale gas prices.

If approved, Avista residential customers using an average of 61 therms per month could expect their bill to decrease by $4.65, or 8.4 percent, for a revised monthly bill of $50.94. The request is designed to decrease Avista’s natural gas revenues by $6.1 million.

The decline in wholesale gas prices was influenced by a warmer winter, high levels of natural gas held in storage and continued high gas production, Avista officials said.

About 50 percent of an Avista natural gas customer’s bill is the cost of purchasing natural gas on the wholesale market and transporting it to Avista’s system. The costs fluctuate based on market prices, and the company files an annual rate adjustment request based on the changes in wholesale costs.