Avista has asked the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to approve a two-year plan calling for rate increases in 2018 and 2019 for its electric and natural gas customers in Idaho.
The Spokane-based company said the request is driven by ongoing investments in its plants, technology and other assets, as well as increased costs associated with providing power to the approximately 128,200 Idahoans in its service territory.
If approved in full, the proposal would lead to an average increase of 7.9 percent for Avista’s electric customers beginning Jan. 1, 2018, and an average 4.2-percent increase effective Jan. 1, 2019.
That equates to a $7.03 increase in the monthly bill for a residential electric customer using an average of 910 kilowatt-hours, from $86.39 to $93.42, in 2018. In 2019, that customer’s monthly bill would climb $4.02, to $97.44.
For Avista’s natural gas customers, the plan calls for rates to rise across all customer classes by an average of 5.7 percent in 2018, and by an average of 3.3 percent in 2019.
Residential natural gas customers using an average of 61 therms per month would see an increase of $3.37 per month in 2018, taking their bill from $51.10 to $54.47, and a $2.07 increase in 2019, to $56.54.
Avista also proposes raising the basic monthly charge for residential electric and natural gas service from $5.75 to $6 in 2018.
If approved, the rate changes for electric customers would increase revenue by a total of $28.5 million, the company said, while increases for natural gas customers are expected to boost revenue by $5.6 million.
According to the company, the primary driver of the proposed increases is the need to replace or upgrade aging infrastructure.
The commission is expected to announce dates for customer workshops, hearings and written comment deadlines soon. Meanwhile, Avista’s application and exhibits are available on the commission’s website at www.puc.idaho.gov.