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Docket number: UE-090134 and UG-090135
Two public hearings to be held in Spokane area on Avista rate-increase request
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Avista customers will have the opportunity to have their voices heard next week by state regulators on the company’s proposed electric and natural gas rate increase request. The public is also invited to comment on a proposed partial settlement agreement.
The three-member commission is expected to make a final decision on the rate case by the end of the year.
Two public comment hearings on Avista Utilities proposed electric and natural gas rate increase requests.
Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission
WHEN and WHERE
Wednesday, Sept. 30
City of Spokane Valley
11707 E. Sprague Ave.
City of Spokane
Lower Level of City Hall
808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.
A partial settlement agreement agreed to by all parties in the case, including commission staff and the Public Counsel Section of the Attorney General’s Office, was announced Sept. 4.
Agreement was reached on many issues involving power-supply costs, cost of capital, rate design and funding for Avista’s low-income assistance program. Unresolved issues include the prudency of the Lancaster power contract, tree-trimming expenses and labor costs.
Parties to the settlement agreement are Avista, UTC staff, Public Counsel, Industrial Customers of Northwest Utilities, the Northwest Industrial Gas Users and the Energy Project. The other party to the case, NW Energy Coalition, did not oppose the agreement.
Avista filed the original rate increase request with the commission on Jan. 23 to raise annual electric revenues by an additional $69.8 million, raising residential rates by an average of 8.6 percent. The company also sought to increase natural gas revenues by $4.9 million annually, raising rates by an average of 2.4 percent. Under this proposal, the average homeowner’s electric rates would have gone up about $7 a month and gas bills a little over $2.
The commission has received 1,797 public comments with 15 in favor, 22 undecided and 1,759 opposed to the rate hike. Customers who are unable to attend the public meeting but wish to comment on the proposed rate hike can mail their correspondence to: P.O. Box 47250 Olympia, Wash., 98504; e-mail comments to email@example.com
or call toll-free 1-888-333-9882. The commission’s deadline for accepting public comments is Oct. 1.
Spokane-based Avista serves more than 231,000 electric customers and about 146,000 natural gas customers, primarily in Eastern Washington.
The UTC is the state agency that regulates private, investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities in Washington. It is the commission’s responsibility to ensure regulated companies provide safe and reliable service to customers at reasonable rates, while allowing them the opportunity to earn a fair profit.