Commission to consider Avista reorganization plan
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission is taking written comment and will host a public workshop regarding Avista Utilities’ application to conduct a corporate reorganization and form a holding company to be known as AVA Formation Corp.
The recent repeal of the Public Utilities Holding Company Act of 1935, often referred to as PUHCA, allows utilities that operate in multi-state jurisdictions to form holding companies. Avista maintains the holding company structure will provide additional protection for ratepayers by further separating the regulated utility’s operations from the operations of other Avista subsidiaries that are not regulated. The further protections, referred to as “ring fencing,” are designed to further guarantee that ratepayers dollars are not used to subsidize unregulated subsidiaries of Avista and that ratepayers are protected from the risks of operating other non-regulated businesses.
Avista states in its application that the proposed reorganization will not include the transfer of utility assets and that Avista customers will not see any change in the utility or its operations. Avista Utilities would continue to be subject to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission on matters impacting its Idaho customers such as rates and customer service.
Even though Avista companies other than Avista Utilities are not regulated, the commission retains authority to have access to those subsidiaries’ records for audit purposes.
The responsibility of the commission is 1) to determine if the transaction is in the public interest, 2) to ensure that the cost and rates for supplying service will not increase as a result of the reorganization and 3) to determine that Avista has the bona fide intent and financial ability to operate and maintain Avista’s operation in Idaho.
A public workshop to allow commission staff, the company and interested parties to discuss the application is scheduled for Tuesday, May 16, at 10 a.m. in the commission hearing room at 472 W. Washington St.
The commission is accepting written comment through June 16. Comments are accepted via e-mail by accessing the commission’s homepage at www.puc.idaho.gov and clicking on "Comments & Questions." Fill in the case number (AVU-E-06-01) and enter your comments. Comments can also be mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0074 or faxed to (208) 334-3762.
A full text of the commission’s order, along with other documents related to this case, are available on the commission’s Web site. Click on “File Room” and then on “Electric Cases” and scroll down to the above case number.