Rate cases: What are they all about?   

Tags: Avista Utilities, Rates

Post by Dan Kolbet

I’ve often said that Avista’s rate requests and rate cases that go before the utility commissions are part of a public and transparent process. This is still true, but I’d like to add a bit of an addendum to that statement. They are part of a public and transparent process – but they aren’t always extremely clear for the layman because the requests and cases can be complicated.

That’s no one’s fault really, as a regulated utility we are watched very closely by the regulators who set our rates and we provide a great deal of information to help them reach a decision. The utility business is complex and seemingly thousands of pieces of information go into one rate action.

You have every right to know what we include in our rate requests and we’ll be talking about our rate cases quite a bit over the next few months.

We will file electric and natural gas general rate cases in Washington and Idaho before the end of the first quarter of the year – the end of March.  We don’t have the requested numbers yet because they are still being finalized. Washington’s general rate case decision can take up to 11 months. In Idaho it’s around 7 months.

In the meantime before we file the cases, I encourage you to watch this short video that explains the rate case process in just a little detail. While it’s not specific any one case, it’s a nice overview of how the system works. The video is on a section of our website that has a bunch of information about rates. Check it out.

I’d also be happy to answer any questions in the comment section for everyone to read. Just leave a comment.
Posted by  System Account  on  3/1/2010
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