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Avista seeks rate increase; IPUC accepting comments through Aug. 31



Avista is seeking to increase rates for electric and natural gas service in order to recover expenses incurred in 2016.

The company said it under-collected the fixed costs of serving its Idaho customers by a combined $9.6 million in the 2016 calendar year. To recover those costs, Avista has asked the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to approve a 3-percent increase to a billing mechanism known as the Fixed Cost Adjustment (FCA).

The adjustment allows Avista to recover the fixed costs it loses when energy sales decline due to decreased consumption among its customers. Though energy consumption fluctuates, the fixed costs associated with providing service are more stable. The FCA is designed to provide the utility with a financial incentive to promote energy efficiency and conservation among its customers.

It can be adjusted annually with Commission approval – via a surcharge when expenses exceed revenue or a refund when FCA revenue surpasses costs. Any increase to the surcharge is capped at 3 percent.

The shortfall among electric customers was approximately $6.5 million with energy efficiency programs and weather having the largest impact.

If approved in full, the company’s proposal to recover those costs would increase the monthly bill for residential electric customers using an average of 910 kilowatt-hours by $2.56. The utility asked for the change to take effect Oct. 1 for electric service.

The commission is accepting comments on Avista’s proposal through Aug. 31 for the electric case, AVU-E-17-04.

To comment, visit www.puc.idaho.gov. Under the “Consumers” heading, click on “Case Comment Form,” and include the case number(s), AVU-E-17-04.



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