Commission OKs minor adjustments to Avista electric rates
Residential customers of Avista Utilities will see about a 91-cent per month increase in electric bills due to the expiration of a rate credit and about a 47-cent per month decrease due to an increase in Bonneville Power Administration’s residential exchange credit. The adjustments become effective Nov. 1.
The expiration of a credit given to customers from the sale of the Centralia and Skookumchuck power plants will result in an increase to average residential bills of about 1.45 percent. A second adjustment, an increase in the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) credit will reduce average residential bills by about 0.75 percent.
When Avista sold its share of the Centralia, Wash., power plant, customers were allowed to share in about $7.5 million of the company’s net-of-tax gain. That credit will be fully refunded to customers by Nov. 1, requiring its removal. Added to the credit in 2004, was $154,000 from the sale of the Skookumchuck hydroelectric generation facility, which supplied cooling water to the Centralia Power Plant.
While the Centralia credit expires, another credit, the BPA credit, is increased. The Bonneville Power Administration is a federally owned wholesale power marketer, selling electricity at cost to customers in four Northwestern states, including Idaho. The electricity is generated from a number of hydroelectric facilities along the Columbia River and its tributaries. The Northwest Power Act of 1980 requires that residential and small-farm electric customers share in the benefits of the hydropower system, typically through a credit on their electric bills. The second half of a 10-year agreement (2001-2011) between Avista and BPA allows for increased benefits to Avista customers. The credit increases from $4.12 per month to $4.59 per month for a customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month.
Avista, headquartered in Spokane, serves about 340,000 electric and 300,000 natural gas customers in Washington and northern Idaho. The company has about 110,000 electric customers in Idaho.
A full text of the commission’s orders, along with other documents related to these cases, are available on the commission’s Web site at www.puc.idaho.gov. Click on “File Room” and then on “Electric Cases” and scroll down to Case Numbers AVU-E-06-08 and AVU-E-060-09.