The Oregon Public Utilities Commission put out a news release on Monday about the details of Avista’s natural gas rate increase request from July and our recent request to decrease prices, due to the wholesale cost of gas.
We announced the basic details of this up, down rate activity on September 30, in the blog post, “Settlement reached for Oregon natural gas rates
.” But I received a few e-mails this week asking for clarification. I think the Oregon PUC news release actually covers it pretty well. It’s re-published in its entirety below.
Commission Issues Avista Utilities General Rate Case Decision
Salem, OR. The Oregon Public Utility Commission today announced its decision to adjust rates for customers of Avista Utilities, which serves approximately 95,000 customers in LaGrande, Roseburg, Medford and Klamath Falls.
In July Avista filed its request with the Commission to raise its rates by 11.6% to pay for major capital projects including pipeline reinforcement projects throughout Oregon. The Commission, after closely examining the request, reduced it to a 7.1% increase.
“While this decision for the general rate case will increase rates, customers will still see their bills go down because it will be offset by a 20% rate decrease that accounts for recent drops in prices for natural gas, that also takes effect Nov. 1,” said Commission Chairman Lee Beyer.
The average residential customer who uses 52 therms will see their bill drop by $10 or 13%.
The decision also settles a true-up for utility taxes. Avista customers will see a $2.4 million dollar refund on their November and December bills. Senate Bill 408 is designed to ensure that the amount collected for taxes in customer rates matches the amount paid by utilities to taxing authorities.
This is the third time since 1991 that Avista has asked the Commission to adjust rates for a general rate request.