Idaho Public Utilities Commission
Case No. AVU-G-10-03, Order No. 32081 and AVU-E-10-04, Order No. 32082
October 13, 2010
Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339, 890-2712
Reduction in size of credits may mean increases for Avista customers
Two rate credits that customers of Avista Utilities are now receiving expire on Oct. 31 and, as a result, customers could be getting slight increases if the Avista applications are approved by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. The commission is taking comments through Oct. 21 on both applications.
Neither of the proposed adjustments, if approved, will increase Avista earnings.
Avista’s annual Purchase Gas Cost Adjustment (PGA) goes up or down each year depending on the previous year’s wholesale gas and transportation prices and a forecast of the upcoming year’s prices. Wholesale gas prices continue to decline but not at the same level as last year when customers received an average 22 percent decrease. Avista is proposing an average 4.3 percent increase for Idaho customers. An average residential customer who uses about 63 therms per month would receive an increase of about $2.75 per month if the application is approved.
The second application is the result of a decision by the Bonneville Power Administration to reduce the size of a credit the federal power marketing agency gives to residential and small-farm customers of investor-owned utilities in four Northwest states. The Avista credit is currently 0.289 cents per kWh and Bonneville is reducing that credit to 0.147 cents per kWh. The proposed rate credit resulted from a settlement agreement between BPA and Avista. The reduced credit will increase an average residential by about 1.65 percent.
BPA is a not-for-profit federal agency that markets power from 31 federal hydroelectric dams and a nuclear plant in the Northwest. The 1980 Northwest Power Act required that residential and small-farm customers in the Northwest share in the benefits of the federal hydroelectric projects located in the region. Avista applies the benefits it receives, which usually fluctuate annually, to customers as a credit on their monthly electric bill.
Comments on either or both of these cases are accepted via e-mail by accessing the commission’s homepage at www.puc.idaho.gov and clicking on "Comments & Questions About a Case." Fill in the case number (AVU-G-10-03 for the gas PGA; AVU-E-10-04 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, is available on the commission’s Web site. Click on “File Room” and then on “Gas Cases” and scroll down to the above case number for the PGA case. Select “Electric Cases,” and the above case number for the BPA credit case.