Avista asking to raise natural gas and electric rates in North Idaho | Business
Avista has reached a settlement agreement that, if approved by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, will raise natural gas and electric rates in North Idaho in two phases.
The first increase would occur April 1, 2013, the second on Oct. 1, 2013.
According to Avista, the settlement proposes that starting April 1, 2013, Avista would increase base natural gas rates by 4.9 percent or $3.1 million. Electric rates would increase by an overall 3.1 percent or $7.8 million.
The settlement also proposes that starting October 1, 2013, Avista would again increase natural gas rates by an overall 2.0 percent or $1.3 million.
A credit resulting from deferred natural gas costs of $1.6 million would be returned to natural gas customers. The net annual average natural gas rate increase to customers would be just 0.3 percent. Similar to natural gas, s $3.9 million credit would be returned to Idaho electric customers, so the net annual average electric rate increase to customers would be just 1.9 percent.
“The revenue increases reflected in the settlement agreement, together with our continued management of the growth in utility costs, provides a framework for positive outcomes from our Idaho operations for both our customers and our shareholders in 2013 and 2014," Avista's Dennis Vermillion said. "It gives our Idaho customers more certainty in their energy rates for the next two years and keeps their energy prices at some of the lowest prices in the Northwest and the nation.”
If the Commission approves the settlement, starting April 1, 2013, a natural gas residential customer in Idaho using an average 60 therms per month would see a $2.82 per month increase for a revised monthly bill of $55.37. Beginning Oct. 1, 2013, that same customer would see an additional increase of $0.31 per month, for a revised monthly bill of $55.68.
If the Commission approves the settlement, beginning Oct. 1, 2013, a residential electric customer in Idaho using an average 930 kilowatt hours per month would see an increase of $2.04 for a revised monthly bill of $80.73.