New poles and electric lines mean a more efficient electric delivery system
As you head west on East Sprague Avenue in the Spokane Valley over the next three to four months, you may notice some construction activity with Avista trucks and crews working in the area.
In order to better serve you with safe, reliable electricity, we’re replacing two miles of old wooden poles with new ones. We are also replacing old, smaller wire with larger wire, which increases the efficiency of our delivery of energy to your homes and businesses. The power lines we are working on provide electricity to the entire Sprague/Appleway corridor and the adjacent areas.
The cost of delivering safe, reliable energy includes maintaining a huge system of pipes, poles, generation facilities and substations. Many parts of our system are 30, 40 and even 50 years old.
What you are witnessing is your rate dollars at work to provide safe and reliable service.
Upgrades to our infrastructure, such as this two-mile pole and wire replacement project, make up around 40 percent of your bill – the cost of delivering energy, serving our customers and energy conservation. The other 60 percent is the cost of the energy itself – the cost of generating or purchasing electricity.
So the next time you see projects like the one on Sprague, you’ll get a up close and personal view of the kind of work we do all the time to make sure you have safe, reliable and efficient energy to your home or business.
Some quick facts about delivering energy to you:
• Avista provides electric service to 357,000 customers and natural gas 317,000 homes and businesses across 30,000 square miles. Our service territory spans portions of three states.
• Distribution lines: Avista has more than 18,000 miles of distribution lines traveling from substations to homes and businesses.
• Avista has more than 240,000 distribution wood poles and 33,000 transmission wood poles in its electric system. The average distribution pole costs about $620 each.
• About 68 percent of the wood poles supporting Avista’s 230kV transmission lines are at least 45 years old.