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Feb 19 , 2016
 

Today, Avista filed general rate requests with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC or Commission) to increase base rates for electric and natural gas customers in Washington. This proposal includes an 18- month rate plan, with new rates taking effect Jan. 1, 2017 and Jan. 1, 2018, if approved. Here are the details about the requests:

 

2017 Requests and Customer Bills – Beginning Jan. 1, 2017

 

Electric

Natural Gas

A residential customer using an average of 957 kilowatt hours per month could expect to see, if approved:

·         A total billed increase of $6.83 per month or 8.2 percent

·         An increase in the monthly basic charge from $8.50  to $9.50

·         A revised monthly bill of $89.62

A residential customer using an average of 66 therms per month could expect to see, if approved:

·         A total billed increase of $2.13 per month or 3.5  percent

·         An increase in the monthly basic charge from $9.00 to $9.50

·         A revised monthly bill of $63.50

 

 

2018 Requests and Customer Bills – Beginning Jan. 1, 2018

 

Electric

Natural Gas

Under the proposal, residential electric customers would not experience a billed rate increase on Jan. 1, 2018 due to a rebate related to the Energy Recovery Mechanism (ERM). The ERM rebate would offset the residential base rate increase of 4.2 percent for January through June 2018.

 

A residential customer using an average of 66 therms per month could expect to see, if approved:

·         A total billed increase of $0.79 per month or 1.2  percent

·         No change to the monthly basic charge

·         A revised monthly bill of $64.29

 

 

The actual percentage increase for electric and natural gas customers would vary by customer class and depend on how much energy a customer uses.

 

Process and Timing

Avista cannot change customer rates on its own. The Commission approves or sets energy rates that are fair and reasonable for the customer and Avista. It can take up to 11 months for the Commission to review the requests and make a decision, during which time the Commission will thoroughly review Avista’s request and costs as well as relevant data and take public comments. Once reviewed, the Commission will set rates. You may hear updates on the process in the coming months.

 

The cost of energy and customer rates

The main driver in the requests is the continuing need to expand and replace the facilities and equipment we use every day to serve you, our customer. These investments include upgrades and maintenance of generation facilities, transmission and distribution equipment, natural gas pipe and new meter technology. The costs of these investments continue to rise. Our rates are cost-based, meaning that the costs included in customer rates reflect the costs of the equipment when installed. When we replace or update old equipment with new equipment and technology, it can cost many times more than when it was installed.

 

What does this investment look like?

Below are some of the large, multi-year capital projects and investments that are included in the rate request.

 

Little Falls Powerhouse Redevelopment

Our Little Falls dam has been generating renewable, low-cost power for more than 100 years, with equipment ranging from 60 to more than 100 years old. This multi-year project is replacing the unreliable equipment and modernizing the station service so that we can continue to provide reliable service for our customers. Throughout 2015, one of the four generating units was reassembled and put back in service and new LED lights were installed in the plant. In 2016, work is underway to disassemble the second of four generating units and reassemble with new equipment, as well as the installation of a new downstream warning system.

 

Nine Mile Powerhouse Project

We are in the midst of a multi-year project to rehabilitate the Nine Mile Powerhouse, which is 108-years-old. The project is underway to replace turbine-generator units, and other equipment that will increase the generation of clean, renewable, low-cost power. In 2013, the last two (of four) original turbine-generating units were removed to make way for the new, more efficient units. Work in the powerhouse to install the new units began in 2014 along with a new warehouse, barge dock and crane pad. 

 

Natural Gas Pipe Replacement

Avista continues a major project to systematically replace portions of older natural gas distribution pipe. The project is replacing hundreds of miles of natural gas pipeline to support a continuation of reliable service for our customers. In 2016, work will take place across all three states we serve, including Spokane, WA, Genesee, ID, Klamath Falls, OR and more. Learn more about this work and view all locations scheduled for 2016 here.

 

Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)

Avista continues to invest in modernizing our grid to meet current and future energy needs. In 2016, Avista will plan for deploying Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) in Washington. Currently, Avista has only installed around 13,000 advanced meters in Pullman as part of our Smart Grid Demonstration Project. This multi-year AMI project includes installation of advanced meters in Washington.

 

Advanced meters allow for two-way communication between Avista and customers. The new advanced meters are digital and equipped with secure, wireless communications technology that allow for two-way communication between Avista and customers. The technology creates the foundation for future customer benefits, including faster outage detection and restoration of service, plus near real-time energy use information and energy usage alerts. These capabilities will allow customers to better understand and manage their energy use.

2015 Windstorm

The November 2015 windstorm was the worst natural disaster in Avista’s history. Near hurricane-force winds knocked down trees which brought down power poles, power lines, transformers and other equipment. A portion of this rate request is to recover costs to replace equipment and infrastructure damaged in the storm. You should know storm expenses will not be recovered all at once but rather spread out over many years—similar to how other infrastructure costs are included in rates.

 

Please visit our website here to learn more about this filing and the rate-making process.

Published: 2/19/2016  1:13 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Jan 18 , 2016
 

Avista received a final order from the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (Commission or UTC) that concludes the electric and natural gas general rate cases filed on Feb. 9, 2015. New rates take effect on Jan. 11, 2016.

 

The Commission approved rates designed to provide a 1.6 percent, or $8.1 million decrease in electric base revenue, and a 7.4 percent, or $10.8 million increase in natural gas base revenue.

 

Throughout the process

Throughout the rate case process, certain circumstances and costs changed, causing Avista to revise its overall proposed rate requests downward, especially for electric operations. 

 

Avista’s need for rate relief was reduced primarily due to a decrease in power supply costs of approximately $24 million, largely driven by the continuing decline in the price of natural gas used to run the company’s gas-fired generation, along with other cost updates and revisions.

 

These kinds of updates and revisions are an important part of the process and are positive for customers. They help ensure that customer rates are reflective of the most current information and numbers.

 

The natural gas revenue increase approved by the Commission is related to Avista’s ownership and operating costs to run the natural gas business. Changes in the commodity costs of natural gas for natural gas customers are reflected in Avista’s annual Purchased Gas Cost Adjustment, which is generally effective November 1st each year. On Nov. 1, 2015 natural gas customers’ bills were reduced approximately 15 percent related to the decline in the market price of natural gas.

 

What does this mean?

In addition to the rate changes mentioned above, there are other factors influencing customer rates.  

·         The Commission approved a multi-year funding plan for Avista’s Low Income Rate Assistance Program (LIRAP). The increase in LIRAP funding results in a $320,000, or 0.1 percent increase in electric revenue and a $391,000, or 0.3 percent increase in natural gas revenue for these programs.

·         Avista’s electric customers in Washington are currently receiving benefits from a rebate related to the Energy Recovery Mechanism (ERM) that has been reducing customer bills by 1.6 percent, totaling approximately $8.2 million on an annual basis. This rebate will expire effective Jan. 11, 2016. The expiration of the rebate will result in a 1.6 percent increase in customer bills.

 

Based on these components, electric rates will slightly increase and natural gas rates will increase.

 

Residential Customer Bills Based on Average Usage

 

Electric – residential customer using an average 966 kilowatt hours per month

·         Increase of $0.15 or .02 percent per month.

·         No change to the basic monthly charge. This stays at $8.50.

·         Numbers are inclusive of base rate decrease, increase in LIRAP funding and expiring ERM rebate.

Natural Gas - customer using an average of 68 therms per month

·         Increase of $4.63 or 7.9 percent per month.

·         Revised monthly bill of $62.96.

·         No change to the basic monthly charge. This stays at $9.00.

·         Numbers are inclusive of increase in base rates and increase in LIRAP funding.

 

This outcome is positive for customers and Avista. Reductions in Avista’s costs lessen the rate increase amount for customers, and the approved rates are designed to allow Avista to continue to recover the costs of serving customers and investing in infrastructure and systems.

 

For more details, read the news release here.

 

Learn more about the rate-making process here. You can also watch this video.

 

 
Published: 1/18/2016  11:26 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Aug 27 , 2015
 

Today, we announced we have filed annual rate adjustment requests in Washington and Idaho that, if approved by the commission in each state would impact electric and natural gas rates and take effect on Nov. 1, 2015.

 

These adjustment filings include:

 

·         Purchased Gas Cost Adjustment (PGA) in Idaho and Washington

·         Residential Exchange Program in Washington

 

These filings are annual adjustment requests that are separate from a general rate case.

 

Purchased Gas Cost Adjustment (PGA)

The PGA is an annual adjustment that balances the actual cost of wholesale natural gas purchased by Avista with the amount already included in current rates - we do not mark up the cost of natural gas to meet customer needs. We are required to file the PGA each year, and costs can go up or down, based on the cost of wholesale natural gas.

 

Residential Exchange Program

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Residential Exchange Program provides a share of the benefits of the federal Columbia River power system to the residential and small farm customers of the investor-owned utilities in the Pacific Northwest. We apply the benefits we receive, which typically fluctuate from year to year, to customers as a credit on their monthly electric bill.

 

Washington  

Filing

Drivers

Residential Customer Bills

PGA

·         A reduction in wholesale natural gas commodity costs due to a warmer than normal winter.

·         An abundance of natural gas held in storage.

·         Continued high production levels of natural gas.

·         Decrease of $10.17 per month or 14.9 percent

·         A revised monthly bill of $57.99

·         Based on average usage of 68 therms per month

Residential Exchange Program

·         The benefit Avista will receive from BPA starting in October 2015 will be lower than the current level of benefits currently being passed through to qualified customers.

·         Increase of $2.69 per month or 3.3 percent

·         Monthly bill change from $80.70 to $83.39

·         Based on average usage of 966 kilowatt hours per month

 

Idaho

Filing

Drivers

Residential Customer Bills

PGA

·         Reduction in natural gas commodity costs due to a warmer than normal winter.

·         An abundance of natural gas held in storage.

·         Continued high production levels of natural gas.

·         Decrease of $7.94 or 13.4 percent

·         A revised monthly bill of $51.28

·         Based on average usage of 61 therms per month

 

Current Natural Gas Bill

Approximately 50 percent of an Avista customer’s natural gas bill is the cost of purchasing and transporting natural gas and 50 percent of the bill is delivery of natural gas to our customers, by Avista.

 

Read the news releases for Washington and Idaho.

 

Published: 8/27/2015  1:13 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Feb 09 , 2015
 

Today, Avista filed a request with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (Commission) to increase rates for electric and natural gas customers in Washington. Here are the details about the request:

 

Electric

The filing includes:

·         a request for a 6.7 percent increase in revenues, primarily for capital investments

·         a request to increase the monthly basic charge from $8.50  to $14.00

 

 

Bill impact:

The bill impact for a customer using an average of 966 kilowatt hours per month would be, if approved:

·         A total billed increase of $6.45 per month or 7.9 percent

·         A revised monthly bill of $87.67

 

 

Natural Gas

The filing includes:

·         a request for an increase in revenues of 6.9 percent

·         a request to increase the monthly basic charge from $9.00 to $12.00

 

 

Bill impact:

 The bill impact for a customer using an average of 68 therms per month would be, if approved:

·         A total billed increase of $5.41 per month or 7.9  percent

·         A revised monthly bill of $73.57

 

Timing

 

This request will take time to be approved. In Washington, this can take up to 11 months, during which time the Commission will thoroughly review Avista’s request and costs as well as relevant data and take public comments. Once reviewed, the Commission will approve rates they feel are reasonable and fair. You may hear updates in the process in the coming months.

 

The cost of energy and customer rates

 

The main driver in the requests is the continuing need to expand and replace the facilities and equipment we use every day to serve you, our customer. These investments include upgrades and maintenance of generation facilities, transmission and distribution equipment, natural gas pipe and information technology upgrades.

 

Keeping rates fair and reasonable for our customers is a key part of our decision making. It’s a balance. The cost to produce energy continues to rise, as does the cost to generate and distribute this energy.

 

What does this investment look like?

 

Below are some of the capital projects and investments that are included in the rate request.

 

Nine Mile Powerhouse Project

We are in the midst of a multi-year project to rehabilitate the Nine Mile Powerhouse, which is 107-years-old. The project is underway to replace turbine-generator units, and other equipment that will increase the generation of clean, renewable power.  In 2013, the last two (of four) original turbine-generating units were removed to make way for the new, more efficient units. Work in the powerhouse to install the new units began in 2014 along with a new warehouse, barge dock and crane pad.

 

Customer Information System and Enterprise Asset Management System

Avista’s customer information system is the foundation of our day-to-day customer operations. The system touches all of our customers and supports traditional utility business functions, such as meter reading, customer billing, payment processing, credit, customer service orders and material management. For 20 years, the system has been meeting the needs of our customers and the company, but like pipe, wires and equipment, over time it needed to be replaced. Years of work and investment in technology led to the launch of the new system in early February 2015.

 

Natural Gas Pipe Replacement

Avista continues a major project to systematically replace portions of older natural gas distribution pipe. The project is replacing hundreds of miles of natural gas pipeline to support a continuation of reliable service for our customers. In 2015, work will take place across all three states we serve, including Spokane, WA, Post Falls, ID, Lewiston, ID, Medford, OR and more. Learn more about this work and view all locations scheduled for 2015 here.

 

Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)

Avista continues to invest in modernizing our grid to meet current and future energy needs. In 2015, Avista is planning for the deployment of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) in Washington. This multi-year AMI project includes installing advanced meters, beginning in 2016.

 

Advanced meters allow for two-way communication between Avista and customers. The technology creates the foundation for future customer benefits, including faster outage detection and restoration of service, plus near real-time energy use information and energy usage alerts. These capabilities will allow customers to better understand and manage their energy use.

 

Learn more about the rate-making process. Watch this video. Read this one-sheet.

Published: 2/9/2015  1:09 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Nov 25 , 2014

On Nov. 25, 2014, Avista received approval from the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (Commission or UTC) on the all-party settlement in our electric and natural gas general rate case. New rates will take effect on Jan. 1, 2015.

 

You may recall we filed a general rate request on Feb. 4, 2014 to increase electric and natural gas base rates in Washington that would support the ongoing need to expand and replace the facilities and equipment we use every day to serve our customers. This approval from the Commission concludes the rate case and supports these efforts.

 

What Does This Mean?

The Commission’s approval will increase electric and natural gas base rates as well as account for new and expiring rebates. Base rates are those that cover the total cost of providing electricity and natural gas service to customers. This includes generating and purchasing energy as well as the delivery of that energy to customers.

 

The overall change in customer billing rates, including the expiring and new rebates, is 2.5 percent for electric customers and 5.6 percent for natural gas customers.

 

Residential Customer Bills Based on Average Usage

 

Electric – residential customer using an average 965 kilowatt hours per month

·         Total billed increase of $2.10 a month or 2.7 percent

·         A revised monthly bill of $81.13

·         An increase in the monthly basic charge from $8.00 to $8.50

 

Natural Gas - customer using an average of 65 therms per month

·         Increase of $3.70 or 6.0 percent

·         A revised monthly bill of $64.89

·         An increase in the monthly basic charge from $8.00 to $9.00

 

 

The bill increase for each customer group (e.g. residential, commercial) may differ due to adjustments to better reflect the cost to serve each customer group.

 

For more details, read the new release here and the blog regarding the settlement here.

 

Learn more about the rate-making process here. You can also watch this video and read this one-sheet.

 
Published: 11/25/2014  5:11 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Nov 03 , 2014
 

Over the last couple of months, we’ve told you about annual rate adjustments that we have filed with our utility commissions in each of the states we serve. These included annual Purchased Gas Cost Adjustments (PGA) filed in Washington, Idaho and Oregon, the Idaho Power Cost Adjustment (PCA), and rate adjustments in the Washington and Idaho Residential Exchange Programs.

 

Purchased Gas Cost Adjustment (PGA)

Power Cost Adjustment (PCA)

Residential Exchange Program

The PGA is an annual adjustment that balances the actual cost of wholesale natural gas purchased by Avista with the amount already included in current rates - we do not mark up the cost of natural gas to meet customer needs. We are required to file the PGA each year, and costs can go up or down, based on the cost of wholesale natural gas.

The PCA is an annual rate adjustment in Idaho made to reflect certain differences between Avista’s actual cost of generating and purchasing electric power to serve customers and the cost currently included in customer rates.

 

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Residential Exchange Program provides a share of the benefits of the federal Columbia River power system to the residential and small farm customers of the investor-owned utilities in the Pacific Northwest. We apply the benefits we receive, which typically fluctuate from year to year, to customers as a credit on their monthly electric bill.

 

 

These rate adjustments, filed between July 30, 2014 and Sept. 15, 2014, have been approved by the various utility commissions, and customers will begin seeing these in reflected in their monthly utility bills, as of Oct. 1 (Idaho PCA and Idaho Residential Exchange Program) and Nov. 1 (all other filings). Below are the details of each of these adjustments in each state.

 

Idaho

Filing

Details

Purchased Gas Cost Adjustment (PGA)

Residential customer bills based on average usage of 60 therms per month:

·        Decrease of $1.16 or 2 percent

·        Revised monthly bill of $58.32

Power Cost Adjustment and Residential Exchange Program

Residential customer bills based on average usage of 930 kilowatt hours per month:

·        Increase of $3.45 or 4.2 percent per month

·        Revised monthly bill from $81.88 to $85.33

 

 

Read more about these filings here and here.

 

Oregon

Filing

Details

Purchased Gas Cost Adjustment (PGA)

Residential customer bills based on average usage of 47 therms per month:

·        Increase of $4.36 or 7.8 percent

General rate change from 2013 general rate case

This increase is to recover capital costs related to natural gas pipe replacement:

·        Increase of $0.17 or 0.3 percent

Overall

Residential increase of 8.1 percent with a revised monthly bill from $55.97 to 60.50

Read more about these filings here and here.

 

Washington

Filing

Details

Purchased Gas Cost Adjustment (PGA)

Residential customer bills based on average usage of 65 therms per month:

·        Increase of $0.65 or 1.1 percent

·        Revised monthly bill of $61.84

Residential Exchange Program

Residential customer bills based on average usage 965 kilowatt hours per month:

·        Decrease of $1.06 per month or 1.3 percent

·        Revised monthly bill from $80.09 to $79.03

Read more about these filings here.

 

 

Published: 11/3/2014  10:32 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Sep 12 , 2014

Today, we announced we have filed two annual rate adjustment requests in Washington that, If approved by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC or Commission), would slightly decrease electric rates and slightly increase natural gas rates.

 

You may recall that we told you about a settlement that we reached in Washington that would raise base retail rates beginning Jan. 1, 2015, if approved, and wonder why we are talking with you about your rates again.

 

The Purchased Gas Cost Adjustment (PGA) and Residential Exchange Program filings made today are annual adjustment filings and are separate from a general rate case and the settlement agreement reached in Aug. 2014 regarding base retail rates in Washington.

 

Purchased Gas Cost Adjustment (PGA)

The PGA is an annual adjustment that balances the actual cost of wholesale natural gas purchased by Avista with the amount already included in current rates - we do not mark up the cost of natural gas to meet customer needs. We are required to file the PGA each year, and costs can go up or down, based on the cost of wholesale natural gas.

 

Residential Exchange Program

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Residential Exchange Program provides a share of the benefits of the federal Columbia River power system to the residential and small farm customers of the investor-owned utilities in the Pacific Northwest. We apply the benefits we receive, which typically fluctuate from year to year, to customers as a credit on their monthly electric bill.

 

In 2014, Avista received a higher level of benefits than it had projected in last year’s rate adjustment.

 

Residential Customer Bills Based on Average Usage

 

Electric – Residential Exchange Program

·         Based on average usage of 965 kilowatt hours per month

·         Decrease of $1.06 per month or 1.3 percent

·         Monthly bill change from $80.09 to $79.03

 

Natural Gas – PGA

·         Based on average usage of 65 therms per month

·         Increase of $0.77 per month or 1.3 percent

·         A revised monthly bill of $61.96

 

Current Natural Gas Bill

Approximately 55 percent of an Avista customer’s natural gas bill is the cost of purchasing and transporting natural gas and 45 percent of the bill is delivery of natural gas to our customers, by Avista.

 

 

Read the news release here.

 

Published: 9/12/2014  1:06 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Aug 18 , 2014

Today, Avista announced that a full settlement agreement has been reached in Washington.

 

You may recall we filed a general rate request on Feb. 4, 2014 to increase electric and natural gas base rates in Washington that would support the ongoing need to expand and replace the facilities and equipment we use every day to serve our customers. Facilities like our 106-year-old South Channel Dam in Post Falls, Idaho and 106-year-old Powerhouse in Nine Mile, Washington. This settlement agreement would conclude the rate case and support these efforts.

 

This agreement has the full support of all parties involved in the rate case and is the result of these parties working together to agree on a settlement that is beneficial for our customers and our company.

 

What Does This Mean?

If approved, the proposed settlement agreement would increase electric and natural gas base rates as well as account for new and expiring rebates. Base rates are those that cover the total cost of providing electricity and natural gas service to customers. This includes generating and purchasing energy as well as the delivery of that energy to customers.

 

Here is what this looks like:

 

Item(s)

Details and Results

Base revenues

·         Increase electric by 1.4 percent or $7.0 million

·         Increase natural gas by 5.6 percent or $8.5 million

Expiring rebates

·         Electric customers are currently receiving benefits from two rebates that are reducing monthly energy bills by 2.8 percent during 2014.

·         These rebates will expire at the end of 2014.

New rebates

·         Avista would provide a rebate to customers of $8.6 million over 18 months related to its sale of renewable energy credits, which would partially replace the expiring rebates and reduce customers’ monthly bills by 1.2 percent.

Energy Recovery Mechanism (ERM)

·         A credit of $3.0 million from the existing ERM deferral balance would be returned to electric customers to offset the 2015 rate increase, which would reduce the overall electric billed rate increase from 1.4 percent to 0.8 percent.

LIRAP

·         Funding available for Avista’s Low Income Rate Assistance Program (LIRAP) would increase by $333,000 as a result of the settlement.

The overall change in customer billing rates from the settlement agreement, including the expiring and new rebates is 2.4 percent for electric customers and 5.5 percent for natural gas customers.

 

Residential Customer Bills Based on Average Usage

Electric – residential customer using an average 965 kilowatt hours per month

·         Total billed increase of $2.10 a month or 2.6 percent

·         A revised monthly bill of $82.19

·         An increase in the monthly basic charge from $8.00 to $8.50

 

Natural Gas - customer using an average of 65 therms per month

·         Increase of $3.62 a month or 5.9 percent

·         A revised monthly bill of $64.81

·         An increase in the monthly basic charge from $8.00 to $9.00

 

 

The bill increase for each customer group (e.g. residential, commercial) may differ due to adjustments to better reflect the cost to serve each customer group.

 

The settlement has been filed with and must be approved by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC or Commission).

 

For more details about the settlement, read the new release here.

 

Learn more about the rate-making process here. You can also watch this video and read this one-sheet.

Published: 8/18/2014  1:07 PM | 1  Comment | 0  Links to this post

Mar 18 , 2014
 
 
 
We are proud to be a part of powering your future.
 
 
On March 13, 1889, Avista, formerly known as Washington Water Power, was incorporated eight months before the Washington Territory became a state. Today, the company is one of only three companies remaining in the state that are classified as Territorial Corporations – incorporated before Washington’s statehood. (See a Video of the presentation.)
The company began on the banks of the Spokane River with the Monroe Street plant, using hydropower to generate electricity for the growing city of Spokane Falls. Today, clean, renewable resources remain a significant part of the company’s diversified mix for energy generation.

Bridge

 
Over the generations of providing energy services, one thing has remained constant for our company: We are honored to provide the energy and resources that have helped families and commerce be successful, whether it is in the home, enjoying the outdoors or building successful businesses. We’re proud to call each community we serve “home,” and we’re proud to be your partner in bringing energy for life.
 
We invite you to visit our Avista Legacy website to get a wonderful overview of our company through our new video and to experience the rich history of our company through our Centennial Book, published in 1989 and our new 125th Anniversary Commemorative Book.

History by Region
Our service territory spans more than 30,000 miles throughout Washington, Northern Idaho, and Oregon. The communities we serve have a rich history that we’re proud to be part of. We’ve captured some of these highlights in our 125th Anniversary Tabloid. You can view it online or download and print. We hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane by region.
 
Huntington Park in Downtown Spokane to open in May
On May 2, 2014, Avista will celebrate the renovation of Huntington Park, property the company owns along the banks of the Spokane River, just west of Spokane’s City Hall. The renovation and enhancements include work on the walkways, grassy areas and structures to provide residents and visitors greater access to the river and views of the falls.
Huntington Park
 
A new plaza at City Hall will be dedicated that day as a gift to Spokane in celebration of the company’s 125 anniversary. The new plaza will create open-air space for gatherings and river viewing, and includes two water features and a fire feature.
 
For the first time in more than 100 years, the view of the spectacular lower falls of the Spokane River will be opened up for easy viewing from the park, the plaza or the streets of Spokane.
Learn more about Huntington Park.
 
Salmon Chief to oversee Huntington Park
Artist Virgil “Smoker” Marchand created an inspirational Native American sculpture – Salmon Chief - to oversee Huntington Park, which will be dedicated in May.
 
Marchand says the sculpture represents a Native American tradition of a man who was appointed to ensure all area tribes received enough Salmon to make it through the winter.
The Native American sitting atop his horse is raising the salmon like a blessing to the river. The horse and man statute is over 12-feet tall and took more than three weeks to make. Several other pieces will be added to the display in the spring.
Salmon Chief
 
 
 
 
Published: 3/18/2014  11:52 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

Feb 04 , 2014

Today, Avista filed a request with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (commission) to increase rates for electric and natural gas customers in Washington. Avista has not filed a general rate request in Washington since April 2012. If approved, the new rates would take effect beginning Jan. 1, 2015. Here are the details about the request:

 

Electric

The filing includes:

·         a request for a 3.8 percent increase in base revenues for capital investments

·         the expiration of two rebates customers are currently receiving that are reducing monthly electric bills by 2.8 percent

·         the proposal of a new rebate that would reduce customer bills by 1.1 percent

·         a request to increase the monthly basic charge from $8 to $15

 

These rebates are passed through to customers on a dollar-for-dollar basis and do not increase or decrease the company’s earnings.

Bill impact:

The bill impact for a customer using an average of 965 kilowatt hours per month would be, if approved:

·         A total billed increase of $4.89 per month or 6.1 percent

·         A revised monthly bill of $84.98

 

Natural Gas

The filing includes:

·         a request for an increase in base revenues of 8.1 percent

·         a request to increase the monthly basic charge from $8 to $12

 

 

Bill impact:

 The bill impact for a customer using an average of 65 therm per months would be, if approved:

·         A total billed increase of $5.23 per month or 8.5 percent

·         A revised monthly bill of $66.42

 

Timing

This request will take time to be approved. In Washington, this can take up to 11 months, during which time the commission will thoroughly review Avista’s request and costs as well as relevant data and take public comments. Once reviewed, the commission will approve rates they feel are reasonable and fair.

 

The cost of energy and customer rates

 

The main driver in filing the requests is the continuing need to expand and replace the facilities and equipment we use every day to serve you, our customer. We expect capital investments of $335 million in 2014, up from $280 million in 2013. These investments include upgrades and maintenance of generation facilities, transmission and distribution equipment, natural gas pipe and information technology upgrades.

 

Keeping rates fair and reasonable for our customers is a key part of our decision making. It’s a balance. The cost of energy continues to rise, as does the cost to generate and distribute this energy.

 

What does this investment look like?

 

Below are some capital projects that are included in the rate request.

 

Post Falls South Channel Dam Project

Beginning spring 2014, Avista will upgrade the 106-year-old South Channel Dam, one of three dams that make up the Post Falls Hydroelectric Development. The project includes:

·         replacing the original concrete on the structure that helps control water levels of  Lake Coeur d’Alene and parts of the three rivers

·         installing new electronic gates and hoists

·         installing new electrical and controls to automate the opening and closing of the spillway gates, increasing efficiencies and reducing cost

 

This work will increase reliability and preserve the life of this important generation resource.

 

 

Nine Mile Powerhouse Project

We are in the midst of a multi-year project to rehabilitate the Nine Mile Powerhouse, also 106-years-old. . The project will replace original generators, turbines and other equipment that will increase the generation of clean, renewable, low-cost power. 

 

 

Customer Information System and Enterprise Asset Management System

Avista’s customer information system is the foundation of Avista’s day-to-day customer operations. For 20 years, the system has been meeting the needs of our customers and the company, but like pipe, wires and equipment, it needs to be replaced. The system touches all of our customers and supports traditional utility business functions, such as meter reading, customer billing, payment processing, credit, customer service orders and material management.

 

Natural Gas Pipe Replacement

Avista continues a major project to systematically replace portions of natural gas distribution pipe. The project is replacing hundreds of miles of natural gas pipeline that was installed prior to 1987.

 

Learn more about the rate-making process here. You can also watch this video and read this one-sheet.

Published: 2/4/2014  12:27 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

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