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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 wants to expand program

Avista Utilities is asking the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to allow an increase in the size of customer-owned power generation projects that qualify for the company’s net metering program. Avista wants the limit raised from 25 kilowatts to 100 kilowatts on projects that generate power through solar, wind, biomass or hydropower.

Kootenai Electric lines hit by Avista crews

An Avista Utilities crew working near a construction site in Coeur d’Alene Tuesday dug into a Kootenai Electric Cooperative power line, causing a brief outage.

Utility chooses a wireless network

Spokane-based Avista Utilities will install Tropos Networks’ wireless network as one of the key parts of its “smart grid” system, the company announced Tuesday. Tropos, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., will provide Avista with its GridCom two-way communications capability. The wireless network will be the two-way foundation that will help deliver messages and data reports across the entire Avista power distribution system.

Power restored after fiery car crash

Power has been restored to most of the 1,700 customers in the Indian Trail area of Spokane early today after a vehicle crashed down an embankment and struck a power pole. Police are looking for the driver.

Idaho to study Avista request for six months

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission will spend six months reviewing Avista Utilities’ request for more money to pay for natural gas energy efficiency programs, officials announced Friday. The utility wants to increase its “energy efficiency rider” by 2.6 percent, or about $1.52 per month for a typical residential gas customer. The tariff pays for 30 different programs that reduce natural gas use, including rebates for customers who buy energy-efficient appliances and furnaces. About $465,000 also helps low-income customers pay their bills.

Ball club switches to green power

The Spokane Indians will take the field under green lights this season. All electricity used at their home field, Avista Stadium, will be generated by renewable energy sources such as wind, biomass and solar, team President Andy Billig said Monday.

Power player

Consolidated Edison, the utility that wired Manhattan Island, has a problem. The solution may be in Spokane. ConEd built all its cable and associated infrastructure into tunnels now too cramped to handle more equipment, yet New Yorkers demand ever more electricity.

Power restored on Rathdrum Prairie

Electrical power was knocked out to about 3,900 customers of Avista Utilities this morning in the Rathdrum Prairie area, but was restored about 9 a.m.

Avista fights labor ruling

Whether Avista Utilities crew dispatchers qualify as supervisors will be decided by the National Labor Relations Board, once that labor-regulating body fills vacancies on its panel. A Seattle NLRB regional director recently ruled in favor of a Spokane local that argued that dispatchers are not supervisors and can join the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

Some of the chill coming out of Avista bills

A steady decline in natural-gas prices will mean lower energy bills for Avista Utilities customers in Washington and Idaho. Effective Sunday, Washington residential and small-business customers will see natural gas rates cut by 25 percent.

Power restored in Coeur d’Alene

Power was restored about 4 p.m. for 2,500 electrical customers northwest of Coeur d'Alene who were without power for about two hours, according to Avista Utilities.

Power restored in downtown, North Side

Power was restored about 11:10 a.m. after a 30-minute outage darkened parts of downtown and the North Side about 10:45 a.m. today.

Wind knocks out power for 4,000

High wind knocked out power to more than 4,000 homes tonight as a storm moved through the Inland Northwest.

Talks slash Avista hike requests

A partial settlement announced Friday will cut by almost half a proposed Avista Utilities electricity rate increase in Washington, and slice a natural gas increase by almost 40 percent. The agreement is not binding on the Utilities and Transportation Commission, which will hold a public hearing on the increases Sept. 30 in Spokane. But all other parties in the case, including the commission’s staff and the attorney general’s public counsel, have accepted the changes.