Comment sought on Avista rate decrease proposals - Coeur d'Alene Press: Business

Comment sought on Avista rate decrease proposals

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Posted: Sunday, August 26, 2012 12:00 am

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission is taking comments on four Avista Utilities applications that, combined, would decrease natural gas customer rates by 8 percent and electric rates by about 2 percent.

If Avista's two gas rate decreases are adopted, residential gas customers using the company average 60 therms per month would see about a $4.42 per month decrease.

If the two electric decreases are adopted, a residential customer using the company average of 939 kilowatt-hours per month would see a monthly decrease of about $1.09.

Avista proposes all adjustments become effective Oct. 1.

Customer rates are divided into several components.

Variable rates are adjusted usually annually to account for changing conditions such as wholesale electric and gas prices, transportation costs and hydroelectric conditions.

Another component of rates is the base rate, which covers fixed costs such as personnel and equipment.

Those wanting to submit comments can do so via e-mail at and clicking on "Comments & Questions About a Case." Specific information on each of the four applications is also available at the website. Comments can also be mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0074 or faxed to (208) 334-3762.

The deadline to submit comments is Sept. 10-21, depending on the application.

Avista, headquartered in Spokane, serves about 125,000 electric customers and about 75,000 natural gas customers in North Idaho.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • flem posted at 6:22 am on Fri, Sep 14, 2012.

    flem Posts: 29

    This is really interesting. Thanks, this is in every respect what I need to know. Donne russe

  • GeneFadness posted at 11:57 am on Tue, Aug 28, 2012.

    GeneFadness Posts: 7

    Surcharges go up and down every year because some costs vary from year to year: wholesale market gas prices, electricity market gas prices, transportation costs, hydroelectric conditions. We at the Commission attempt to have the rates customers pay relfect the actual cost of delivering power at the time, but realize that's can never be exact. Hence, the yearly trackers to more closely match rates with actual expense. Commission members do not benefit when rates go up or down, other than their personal rates go up or down when the utilities they are customers of have rate changes. Commissioners do not have direct contact with stock traders and it is against state law for commission employees to have stock in any of the utilities we regulate. Avista's last rate increase was due to changes in fixed costs -- personnel, equipment, etc. -- not variable costs such as electric and gas supply that vary from year to year.

    I hope this answers your questions. Here's the link to our complete news release:

    Gene Fadness
    Idaho Public Utilities Commission

  • Sheeken Hunter posted at 8:48 am on Tue, Aug 28, 2012.

    Sheeken Hunter Posts: 179

    To semi quote a famous American...'one small step for manking'. Give them credit for this action. They did not have to do it. The regulators certainly would not have made them do it.

  • AnonymousCda posted at 10:03 pm on Sun, Aug 26, 2012.

    AnonymousCda Posts: 299

    Why did rates increase in the first place to have the rates decrease. Was it due to rate rigging by to big to fail banks like JP Morgan? How much is the energy market rigged today? How many of you commission people benefit from rate changes up or down? How many of you commissioners have direct contact with stock traders, JPMorgan, or any other to big to fail bank? When the rates increased back when was there a surplus of supply electric and gas at that time? Is there any true value discovery within GAS an Electric?

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