Below You Will Find Information To Commonly Asked Questions.

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Q:  What is renewable energy?
There are many forms of renewable energy. The most common include wind, solar, hydropower and biomass. Learn more about different types of renewable energy here.
Q:  What happens if I buy more blocks of kWhs (offsets) than I use in a month?
Avista will purchase the same number of kWhs worth of renewable energy offsets as our customers’ subscriptions. Some customers purchase more blocks than their electric usage to offset their vehicle miles and other environmental impacts.
Q:  How much is the premium for renewable energy?
The premium to purchase renewable energy can vary widely, however, the Buck-A-Block program currently offers one of the lowest cost premiums in the nation.  While premiums can be as high as 20% over regular rates, at $1 for 300 kWh of environmental offsets, Buck-A-Block is about a 5% premium.  As subscriptions grow or the cost for new renewables increase this premium could change with advance notice.
Q:  Is the cost for blocks of renewable energy through Buck-A-Block in addition to the regular rates I pay?
Yes, the blocks cover the incremental cost of providing emission-free energy. New sources of renewable energy, like most renewable generation resources, currently costs more to produce than other generation resources such as natural gas and coal.
Q:  Isn’t our hydropower renewable?
Yes. The Northwest is fortunate to have an abundance of natural resources such as our lakes, rivers and streams. Avista has a long history of stewardship in harnessing the power of these resources while striving for a balance between the need for electricity and mitigating the impacts of hydroelectric facilities. While hydropower is renewable resource, Buck-A-Block is a renewable energy credit program. Wind, solar and biomass energy are important renewable energy sources that — along with other renewable options like geothermal or landfill gas, further improves our resource mix.
Q:  What is Avista’s resource mix?
Avista produces electricity using a number of different resources. In 2010, Avista generated or contracted to purchase for resale 5.91 million megawatt hours for our Northwest customers.

Our owned or contracted resources come primarily from four categories of fuel: biomass, coal, hydro, and natural gas.
Avista’s fuel mix is as follows:

Natural Gas – 35.66 percent
Hydro – 33.35 percent
Coal – 26.52 percent
Biomass – 2.49 percent
Waste – 1.43 percent
Nuclear* – 0.30 percent
Cogeneration – 0.12 percent
Petroleum – 0.08 percent
Landfill Gases* – 0.02 percent
Other – 0.02 percent

* Avista doesn’t own or operate landfill gas or nuclear generation facilities. We do however, purchase energy made within the Pacific Northwest, which includes some nuclear and waste generation.
In 2011, more than 70,000 mWh's, or about 1 percent, of Avista's resources came from wind and other renewables as a result of Buck-A-Block customer purchases.
Q:  Why is Avista Utilities offering new renewable energy?
We offer this option so customers like you can support alternative renewable resources like wind or solar while offsetting your environmental impact.
Q:  How much does solar cost?
The premium for solar and therefore the cost for the environmental offsets is in the hundreds of dollars per MWh compared to $3 to $40 on average for wind.
Q:  Will the addition of Solar RECs increase the Buck-A-Block pricing?
No. The intent is to add diversity to the Buck-A-Block program and build awareness of the different costs for different resources, however, it represents a small addition to the total portfolio that will not immediately impact the block pricing.
If you do not find the answer to your questions here, please contact us. Backback to previous page Topback to top

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