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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Avista Corp. reports dip in second-quarter earnings

Avista Corp. is seeking approval from Oregon regulators to raise natural gas rates for its 106,000 customers in that state.  (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review )

Avista Corp on Wednesday reported net income of $11.5 million for the second quarter this year.

That profit, which equated to 16 cents per share, was down compared to the same quarter in 2021, which had a net income of $14.1 million and 20 cents per share.

The Spokane-based utility reported that the lower profit was primarily due to depreciation and higher operating and maintenance expenses at its subsidiary, Avista Utilities.

However, the utility’s higher operating costs were partially offset by benefits from its completed rate cases in Idaho and Washington that went into effect in fall 2021, according to a company release.

“Our second quarter consolidated earnings met our expectations, and we continue to be on track to meet our full year consolidated earnings guidance,” Dennis Vermillion, Avista’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

Vermillion said the company is pleased to have reached a settlement in its multiyear Washington general rate cases, which would provide a “positive framework” for its operations as well as benefit customers and shareholders.

Avista’s multiparty settlement agreement, if approved by state regulators, would raise electricity rates by 7.7% during the next two years and natural gas rates by 1.1%. The first increase would take effect in December.

The Washington Attorney General’s Office is challenging the company’s multiyear settlement.

It recently filed expert testimony with the Washington