Today's Washington rate filing - what’s driving the cost of energy?    

Tags: Avista Utilities, Rates, Washington, Infrastructure upgrades, Energy Efficiency, Energy Assistance, Electricity, Natural Gas

Today Avista files for electric and natural gas rate increase in Washington
 
Post by Debbie Simock

When you need energy, you expect it to be there. That’s reliability. And, making sure it’s there is our job. A key to ensuring that happens is having infrastructure – poles, pipes, wires, transformers, substations, equipment and generating facilities – in place that can reliably do the job and continue to meet the growing demand for energy.

Old transformer
Can you guess how old this transformer is?
Hint – Harry Truman was President of the United
States. This transformer has been in continuous
service since 1947 and is one example of the
need to replace aging infrastructure to ensure
reliability.
That’s why we’re investing approximately $250 million in our utility infrastructure in 2011.

The cost of upgrading equipment today is significantly more expensive than the equipment being replaced, some of which has been serving customers for 40 to 70 years. These increased costs are the major driver in the request we filed today with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) to increase electric rates by an overall 8.7 percent and overall 4.0 percent for natural gas. Read more in the news release. 
 
If approved it would increase the bill for a residential electric customer using an average 977 kilowatt hours per month by $7.13 per month, or 9.3 percent, for a revised monthly bill of $84.14. For natural gas it would increase the bill for a residential customer using an average of 67 therms a month by $3.26, or 5.1 percent, for a revised monthly bill of $66.71.

Rates are going up for customers across the U.S. and we know that any increase in rates can be a challenge for customers. That’s why we are committed to offering energy efficiency programs for all customers and to supporting energy assistance services that help those residential customers who are most impacted by rising prices.

We’re here to answer your questions and provide information about our energy future. Take a few minutes to watch the short Take a Closer Look at How Rates are Set video. There, you’ll also learn more about What’s Driving the Cost of Energy and the work we’re doing to ensure that you have the reliable energy you expect.
 
 
Posted by  System Account  on  5/16/2011
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