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Reading Your Bill

When it comes to energy use, the more information you have the better choices you can make. That's why your monthly Avista energy bill provides you with easy-to-read, detailed information on your current and past energy use. Plus, we've added information on Avista programs and services that can help you save time and energy.

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Sample bill does not represent an average or actual billing or address. The bill is used for illustration and information purposes only.

Front of your bill (sample)

Account Number

Use this number when requesting information about your account or when paying your bill. This section also tells the date your bill was mailed, along with how to contact Avista.

Message Center

Check this section monthly for information about what's going on at Avista, including special offers, easy ways to pay your bill and tips on how to manage your energy use.

Account Summary

See your previous balance, prior account transactions and your current amount due, including amount of state taxes included in the bill.

Your Usage Profile

Compare your current monthly usage to the same month during the previous year. And, check out the average daily temperature for both months.

Current Reading Information

Evaluate detailed information about your meter readings.

Current Charge Detail

This area shows the break out of the detailed charges for your monthly energy use, including the number of days in the billing cycle which varies by month.

Remittance Coupon

Detach and return this coupon with your payment. To make payment easier, fill out the reverse of the coupon and sign-up for automatic payment service.

Contact Us

It's easy to reach us by phone, online or by mail. TTY services and translation service are also available. Also learn about services offered to help save time and energy.

Automatic Payment Service Enrollment Form

Simply fill out the form and you are set up for automatic payment. No checks, no postage, no hassle.

Back of your bill (sample)

Defining terms used on your bill.

What does it all mean? Below are the terms you see on your Avista Utilities bill and what they mean.

Basic Charge - This flat fee is charged to all customers and helps pay the operational costs which allow service to stay available to our customers.

Bill Date - The date our computer printed your bill. Charges and payments processed after that date will appear on your next bill.

Billing Summary - Here, you can see how each part of your bill was calculated to add up to the current amount due.

Consumption - This is the amount of energy used during the current billing cycle. The cost for each kilowatt or therm is listed just to the right of the amount of energy you used.

Credits & Adjustments - Here, you'll see a brief description of every financial transaction made on your account. This will include payments, product purchases, and any corrections.

Read Date - The date that your meter was read.

Kilowatt Hours - We measure the amount of electricity in watt hours. One kilowatt hour equals 1000 watt hours. The kilowatt hours on your bill equal the rate or speed of use (kilowatts) x the length of time electricity was used. Running a 5000 watt (5 kilowatt) dryer for 1 hour uses 5 kilowatt hours of electricity. Burning a 100 watt light bulb for 10 hours uses 1 kilowatt hour.

Therms - Your use of gas is billed in units called therms. Therms identify the heating value provided by gas. One therm equals the heating capacity of approximately 100,000 matches.

Multifactor - After your meter is read and the difference between the old and new reads is established, a multifactor is used to convert the difference into use.

  • Your gas meter measures gas in cubic feet. We use a multifactor to convert cubic feet into therms. The multifactor varies with the heating value of the gas we provide.
  • Each electric meter has its own multifactor. Meters which count each kilowatt hour used have a multifactor of 1. Meters which count kilowatt hours by 10's have a multifactor of 10. Other common electric meter multifactors are 40, 120, and 240.

Estimated Bill - If your bill has been estimated an asterisk will appear by the read for the service that has been estimated and the message "Use estimated - no read obtained," will be printed on your bill. Our estimating procedure takes into account past use, weather conditions, and the number of days that service was provided. If an error is made in estimating your bill it will be automatically corrected the next time we actually read your meter.

Prorated Bill - We prorate charges when billing periods are outside the normal 27 to 35 day periods or when rates change during your billing period. If you have questions about a prorated bill please call our office.

Rate Schedules - Your rate schedule determines how much you are charged for each kilowatt hour or therm. We mail out lists and descriptions of our rate schedules once a year or whenever we have a general rate change.

Days of Service - The number of days in your billing period is given on each bill. Most billing cycles run between 27 to 35 days. Because of holidays, etc., the days of service do vary. Keep in mind during cold weather that a few days more or less in a billing cycle will affect your bill.

Average Daily Temperature - This is a total of each day's average temperature for the billing cycle divided by the number of days of service.

Remember, an average daily temperature of 65° F for the entire month may mean that your heating system was running during the colder night-time hours even if the day-time hours were generally warm.

Normally, the size of your heating bill is directly related to the average daily temperature. For instance, a billing cycle with an average daily temperature of 20° may require twice as much heat as a billing cycle with an average daily temperature of 40°.

Project Share - Project Share helps individuals or families who are unable to afford their heating costs because of low income or other hardships. Project Share helps people who have received insufficient aid or cannot obtain aid from government programs or agencies. Avista Utilities supports Project Share through employee, corporate and shareholder donations, and by forwarding donations from our customers to the fund. All the money you donate (either by paying $1, $5 or $ 10 over your billed amount or by giving any amount in cash or check directly to Project Share) goes to help people in need.

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