Avista proposes adjustments to electric rates
Customers of Avista Utilities have an opportunity to comment to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission on two adjustments to electric rates proposed by the Spokane-based utility.
One adjustment, the expiration of a credit given to customers from the sale of the Centralia Power Plant, 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 some of the gain. Residential customers have received a credit of 0.091 cents per kWh since March of 2000. The customer portion of the gain will be fully refunded by Nov. 1, requiring removal of the credit. The result is about a 1.45 percent increase to an average residential bill.
The BPA 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. Avista is asking that the commission approve an increase in the credit from the current 0.412 cents per kWh to 0.459 cents per kWh. If the increase in the credit is approved, a customer who uses 1,000 kWh per month would notice a credit of $4.59 subtracted from the amount due, compared to the current $4.12 credit, effective Nov. 1.
Avista 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.
Customers have until Oct. 19 to comment on the elimination of the Centralia Power Plant credit and Oct. 23 to comment on the increase in the BPA credit.
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-06-08 for the Centralia case and AVU-E-06-09 for the BPA credit) 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 these cases, are available on the commission’s Web site. Click on “File Room” and then on “Electric Cases” and scroll down to the above case numbers.