October 2015 (1)
August 2015 (1)
June 2015 (1)
May 2015 (1)
February 2015 (1)
January 2015 (1)
November 2014 (2)
October 2014 (2)
September 2014 (6)
August 2014 (1)
July 2014 (5)
June 2014 (1)
March 2014 (3)
February 2014 (2)
January 2014 (1)
November 2013 (3)
October 2013 (1)
August 2013 (3)
July 2013 (4)
May 2013 (4)
April 2013 (3)
March 2013 (2)
February 2013 (3)
January 2013 (4)
December 2012 (6)
November 2012 (9)
October 2012 (10)
September 2012 (9)
August 2012 (14)
July 2012 (17)
June 2012 (14)
May 2012 (13)
April 2012 (18)
March 2012 (14)
February 2012 (10)
January 2012 (12)
December 2011 (8)
November 2011 (11)
October 2011 (10)
September 2011 (13)
August 2011 (10)
July 2011 (6)
June 2011 (12)
May 2011 (8)
April 2011 (8)
March 2011 (9)
February 2011 (6)
January 2011 (9)
December 2010 (8)
November 2010 (17)
October 2010 (8)
September 2010 (12)
August 2010 (15)
July 2010 (10)
June 2010 (15)
May 2010 (9)
April 2010 (11)
March 2010 (13)
February 2010 (10)
January 2010 (14)
December 2009 (14)
November 2009 (10)
October 2009 (17)
September 2009 (20)
August 2009 (18)
July 2009 (22)
June 2009 (12)
Answering Questions
Avista Utilities
Clark Fork
Community Service
Customer Service
Energy Assistance
Energy Efficiency
Environment Facts
Hydro power
Infrastructure upgrades
Lake Coeur d'Alene
Natural Gas
Power Outages
Reliability Facts
Renewable Energy
Renewable Facts
Smart Grid
Spokane River

What it means to be a regulated utility   


Washington and Idaho
Starting on Sunday Sept. 27, and continuing on for the next few weeks throughout our service territory, we’ll be running paid media about being a regulated utility. The ad will run twice in each of our service territory newspapers.

People often ask me why we change our rates (up or down). I wish the answer was simple each time, but with the complicated nature of the electric and natural gas utility industry, there are always many reasons backing up every action.

I think we’ve done a pretty decent job on this blog explaining our actions about rates, but there is always this ever-present question hanging over the conversation, “Isn’t Avista a monopoly?” This question implies that we’re unregulated. That is certainly not true. We’re a regulated utility in three states and we can’t simply raise our rates whenever we want.

Here’s an example: when costs go up, some types of businesses can respond by simply raising their prices. We’re different. We’re a regulated utility – and because we’re regulated, our rates are set through a long, detailed and transparent public process.

The bottom line is that our rates can’t change without state approval.

We’re using paid media such as the newspaper ads linked here to reach you directly. Let’s head off an obvious question – why pay for ads when you can just insert something in my bill? The truth is (and if you’re being honest, you’ll agree), you probably don’t read everything that comes in your monthly paper bill or e-bill.

This is an important topic that we want you to be knowledgeable about, so we’re spreading the word this way. We want to share this story and get your thoughts on it. You can send us an e-mail, or comment on this post – or any post – for all customers to see. You can also find out more about being a regulated utility on our Conversation page.

Over the last few months we’ve been able to use e-mail, blogs, twitter, discussion forums, in-person meetings and paid media to have real-life conversations with thousands of you out there.

I’m confident that this frank dialog will continue to be beneficial for us all.
Posted by  System Account  on  9/25/2009
0  Comments  | 0  Links to this post | Bookmark this post with:          


Add a Comment

We encourage comments on this blog, but this is a family friendly conversation, so please check out our discussion guidelines so we’re all on the same page. By submitting a comment, you agree to these terms and our Privacy Policy.  

Customers must have a My Account and be logged in to comment.
Login to My Account | Create My Account


We're hopeful that this space will encourage thought provoking and informative community discussions about issues related to our products and services. Currently you must be an Avista customer to participate in the conversation, but stay tuned. In the coming weeks we'll also provide an opportunity for non-customers to participate in this forum.