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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Avista to spend $5 million to replace gas pipes

Avista Utilities will spend $5 million this year to replace about 60 miles of natural gas line in Spokane and Lincoln counties that’s vulnerable to cracking. The older, polyethylene pipe can become brittle and develop cracks when it’s exposed to rocks or other pressures, state regulators said. In December 2008, a crack in the same type of pipe caused a natural gas explosion in Odessa, Wash. Two people were injured in the blast, which also damaged a garage.

Avista Corp. earnings sizzle after hot summer

Hot summer days contributed to higher third-quarter earnings for Avista Corp., officials said Wednesday. The Spokane-based utility cited air conditioning demand as a factor in its quarterly income of $11.4 million, or 19 cents per share, on revenue of $335.8 million.

Avista natural gas customers’ bills to rise

Avista’s natural gas customers will pay 9.4 percent more for heat this winter as a result of higher wholesale prices. The new rates take hold Friday for about 150,000 customers in Spokane and other parts of Eastern Washington. A typical household, using 68 therms of natural gas per month, will see a $5.44 monthly increase, for a revised bill of $63.07.

Clark: Answers at the Reddy on latest from Avista

Hello and welcome to another installment of Ask Reddy Kilowatt. The iconic former power company mascot, with his red lightning-bolt body and light bulb nose, has agreed to come back and answer more of your burning questions about Avista’s latest attempt to put all of us in the poorhouse.

Avista, Inland Power’s results differ with new energy standards

Wind turbines spinning on the Palouse are the final piece of Avista Utilities’ strategy to meet Washington’s new renewable energy standards. Energy from the 58-turbine Palouse Wind farm, which started operations last year, has pushed the Spokane-based utility over the top. Even with future customer growth, Avista officials say they’ve lined up enough qualifying renewable energy to meet Initiative 937’s requirements through 2020.

Avista reports second-quarter earnings growth

Spokane-based energy utility Avista Corp. reported second-quarter earnings Wednesday of $25.7 million, or 43 cents per share, up from $18.2 million and 31 cents per share a year earlier. Company officials noted that Avista’s Ecova subsidiary had a strong quarter. Ecova provides energy audits and management services for other companies; its operating loss last year was one reason cited by Avista for weaker-than-expected 2012 numbers.

Avista requests rate hikes in Idaho

Rising prices for natural gas and increased demand for energy-efficiency rebates have Avista Utilities asking for higher rates in Idaho. The Spokane-based utility is seeking a 0.9 percent increase in residential electric rates and 7.5 percent hike in residential natural gas rates, beginning Oct. 1. The request was filed Wednesday with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, which must approve any rate changes.

Avista absorbs hit as generator fails

A generator failure at a Montana coal plant will force Avista Corp. to buy about $12 million worth of replacement electricity this year. The Spokane-based utility owns a 15 percent interest in two units at the Colstrip generating plant located east of Billings. One of the units’ generators broke down July 1, and repairs could take six months to complete, said Thomas Dempsey, Avista’s manager of generation and joint projects.

Clark: Avista ‘report card’ puts me in a class by myself

Well, they’ve done it again – those weasels at the Avista Corp., I mean. If these meddlers aren’t raising our gas and electricity rates every other month, they’re sending everybody unwanted cases of poison-filled curlicue death-bulbs.

Avista reports profitable quarter

Higher rates in Washington helped Avista Corp. recover from a down year and report a more profitable first quarter. Net income for the quarter was $42.3 million, or 71 cents per share, the Spokane-based utility said Wednesday. And that primarily is a result of general rate increases in Washington, Avista said.

Idaho PUC staff supports Avista’s proposal to hike rates

Avista Corp. would raise electricity and natural gas rates this year in Idaho under a new agreement under consideration by utility regulators. The company utility has 123,000 electricity and 75,000 natural gas customers in North Idaho.

Avista rates to rise next week

Avista Corp. will raise electric and gas rates in Washington in the new year and again in 2014 under an agreement with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. Following months of negotiations between the Spokane-based utility and state regulators, Avista customers will pay 2 percent more for electricity and 3.7 percent more for natural gas beginning next Tuesday, New Year’s Day.

Update of power grid in Inland Northwest has begun

With the push of a button on their smartphones, Inland Northwest residents will soon have a way to adjust their thermostats and their electric bills. In Pullman, a $38 million demonstration project will upgrade the aging power grid, saving energy and providing Avista customers with several new features intended to increase communication between customers and the power company.

Avista reports copper wire theft

Authorities say more than a half mile of copper wire was stolen recently from an Avista Utilities substation. Avista employees told the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office the wire was stolen from the Dahl Road substation sometime between Oct. 16 and Oct. 24. Another 450 to 500 feet of wire was pilfered from the Little Spokane substation during the same time frame. Crews have spent nearly an entire month between July and October replacing and repairing equipment from copper wire thefts, employees told authorities. Avista estimates the scrap value of the stolen copper at about $595, but says it costs $12,000 to replace and repair. Avista is offering a cash reward to anyone who can provide information leading to an arrest and conviction for those responsible. Anyone with information should call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.

Church, property owner make solar energy cost-effective

Two Spokane property owners investing thousands of dollars in solar energy panels say financial incentives from federal and state governments made the decision easy. The Community Building LLC, which operates the Community Building in downtown Spokane, and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane are in the midst of installing large solar projects. The Community Building is replacing 32 solar panels installed in 2000, the first commercial solar panel installation in Spokane County, with more efficient panels.