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Avista seeks electric rate increase for Idaho customers

UPDATED: Mon., June 10, 2019

 (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
(Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
By Paul W. Smith The Spokesman-Review

Avista Corp. is asking regulators to approve an increase in electric rates for its Idaho customers.

In its request filed with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, the Spokane-based utility is proposing the increase in residential electric rates beginning Jan. 1. If approved by the IPUC, a typical household in Idaho using an average of 898 kilowatt hours per month could expect to see its bill increase $2.89 per month, or 3.5%, going from $82.57 to $85.46, the company said in a statement Monday.

Avista is not proposing to increase the residential basic monthly charge, currently at $6 per month.

The utility said the increase would allow it to recover costs related to investments in infrastructure, system maintenance and technology. Among the projects listed in the company’s IPUC filing:

Upgrading of generating units and other equipment at the utility’s Little Falls Dam, which will provide more generating capacity.

Distribution grid modernization, which includes rebuilding and upgrading each electric distribution feeder in the system, replacing old equipment such as poles, conductors and transformers to improve service reliability, capture energy-efficiency savings and improve operational ability.

Ongoing inspection and replacement of 240,000 electric distribution wood poles across the utility’s Idaho system.

Rebuilding of substations that have reached the end of their useful life or have reached full capacity.

Technology upgrades that support necessary business processes and operational efficiencies.

Avista has more than 133,000 electric customers in Idaho. It last filed a general rate request with IPUC in June 2017.

Regulators have up to nine months to review Avista’s request, a time frame that will include opportunity for public comment. A copy of the application is available for public review at IPUC and Avista offices.

The rate request may also be viewed on the commission’s website at and on the utility’s website at

Ratepayers may file written comments on the proposed rate increase by going to the IPUC’s website or by mailing comments to: Idaho Public Utilities Commission, P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0074.

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