Avista Corp. reported Wednesday a net income of $71.6 million for the first quarter of 2022, which is about $2.5 million greater than the net income from a year ago.
The 2022 income generated $0.99 per share for the quarter compared to $0.98 for the same quarter in 2021, which had a net income of $68 million.
“We had a solid start to 2022, as Avista Utilities earnings were above our expectations,” said Dennis Vermillion, Avista president and CEO, in a news release. “Our performance was partially the result of the timing of certain expenses.
“For the remainder of 2022 we anticipate seeing higher interest costs and energy costs based upon the current economic environment,” he continued.
“However, we are proactively managing these issues and are on track to meet our consolidated earnings targets for the full year.”
A week ago, Avista announced that it filed a Purchased Gas Cost Adjustment, or PGA, request to the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission and the Idaho Public Utilities Commission.
Avista said it would not profit from the changes. The PGA requests are used to adjust rates based on the costs of wholesale natural gas, according to the Washington utilities commission.
“Since the last PGA filings were made, the price of wholesale natural gas has continued to rise with dramatic sustained increases since late March, with prices reaching levels not seen in over 13 years,” the company said in the release on April 29. “About 40% of an Avista natural gas customer’s bill is the combined cost of purchasing natural gas on the wholesale market and transporting it to Avista’s system.”
If approved, the rate increases would take effect July 1.
Residential natural gas customers in Washington, who use an average of 67 therms per month, would see their monthly bills increase from $64.86 to $72.66, an approximately 11.7% increase, according to Avista.
In Idaho, residential natural gas customers who use an average of 63 therms per month would see their monthly bills increase from $55.86 to $61.30, or about 9.7%.
As for the quarterly results, Vermillion credited the revenue from its subsidiaries, which include Avista Utilities, Alaska Electric Light & Power and Avista Edge, which was formed to provide internet to rural communities through partnerships with cities, cooperatives and electric utilities.
As for the rest of the year, Vermillion predicted that he expects earnings of $1.93 to $2.13 per share.
“We expect to be near the lower end of this range primarily due to higher power supply costs,” he said.
“We are confirming our 2023 consolidated earnings guidance range of $2.42 to $2.62 per diluted share.”
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