Avista files multiyear rate plan in Washington
“We take our responsibility to provide you with energy at an affordable price very seriously,” Avista President and CEO
“Part of the responsibility of providing an essential service is to make sure customers have energy when they need it. This means that we must continue to make important and necessary investments to the infrastructure that serves our customers such as replacing wood distribution poles and natural gas pipelines, taking steps to meet our clean electricity requirements and goals, making our system more resilient to the threat of wildfires, and upgrading customer-facing technology and substations, and much more. We’ve made these investments on behalf of our customers because it’s the right thing to do.
“As we see the effects of inflation impact the entire country, the cost of doing business is going up for all companies and industries. Utilities across the nation work to replace infrastructure and meet increasing compliance obligations while the fixed costs of operating and maintaining our systems are increasing, too. Avista is not unique in this regard, and our costs to deliver energy continues to outpace our revenue.
“Despite the rising costs, we are always looking for ways to keep rates affordable. The Residual Tax Customer Credit would offer a total of
The ongoing effort to align the rates customers pay with Avista’s costs to serve is one of the main reasons we file general rate requests. It’s important for the health of the company and an essential part of providing safe and reliable energy,” Vermillion said.
Two-Year Rate Plan
The proposal is a two-year rate plan, with new rates taking effect in
If approved, the electric general rate request is designed to increase annual base revenues by
If approved, the natural gas general rate request is designed to increase annual revenues by
The electric and natural gas requests are based on a proposed rate of return (ROR) of 7.31%, with a common equity ratio (CER) of 48.5%, and a 10.25% return on equity (ROE).
Residual Tax Customer Credit
Concurrent with the effective date of this rate case, the Company proposes to offset part of the 2022 base rate request with a Residual Tax Customer Credit. The estimated benefits of
Since 2001, Avista’s
Avista needs to continue to replace infrastructure that has reached the end of its useful life, as well as respond to the need for reliability and technology investments required to build the integrated energy services grid that will take us into the future. Among the projects included in today’s filing are:
- Ongoing management, inspection and replacement of 240,000 electric distribution wood poles through Avista’s wood pole management program to ensure poles and the equipment on them support the company’s ability to provide customers with safe and reliable power.
- Continued investment in Avista’s Wildfire Resiliency Plan, which outlines substantial steps that Avista has taken to guard against the growing threat of wildfires including grid hardening, enhanced vegetation management, and other industry-leading best practice measures.
- The ongoing project to systematically replace portions of natural gas distribution pipe in Avista’s service area that were installed prior to 1987, as well as replacement of other natural gas service equipment to strengthen the integrity, safety, and reliability of the system.
- Technology upgrades that support necessary business processes and operational efficiencies that allow Avista to effectively manage the utility and serve customers.
Washington Residential Customer Bills
Proposed Changes by Service Schedule
The requested electric increase by service schedule is as follows:
|Residential Service - Schedules 1/2||7.9%||3.1%|
|General Service - Schedules 11/12||7.0%||2.8%|
|Large General Service - Schedules 21/22||6.9%||2.8%|
|Extra Large General Service - Schedule 25||7.6%||3.0%|
|Extra Large Special Contract||7.6%||3.0%|
|Pumping Service - Schedules 31/32||7.0%||2.8%|
|Street & Area Lights - Schedules 41 – 48||7.1%||2.8%|
The requested natural gas increase by service schedule is as follows:
|General Service Schedules 102/103||2.7%||1.2%|
|Large General Service Schedules 111/112/116||1.9%||0.9%|
|Interrupt. Sales Service Schedules 131/132||1.7%||0.8%|
|Transportation Service Schedule 146||4.4%||1.9%|
The actual percentage increase for electric and natural gas customers will vary by customer class and depend on how much energy a customer uses.
To assist customers in managing their energy bills, Avista offers services for customers such as comfort level billing, payment arrangements and Customer Assistance Referral and Evaluation Services (CARES), which provide assistance to special-needs customers through referrals to area agencies and churches for help with housing, utilities, medical assistance and other needs. Avista also provides funding for energy assistance programs Project Share and the company’s LIRAP, which are administered through community action agencies.
Avista provides energy efficiency and outreach programs that include rebates and incentives as well as tips and resources to help customers manage their energy use and energy bills. Customers can learn more at www.myavista.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding the company’s current expectations. Forward-looking statements are all statements other than historical facts. Such statements speak only as of the date of the news release and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the company’s control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations. These risks and uncertainties include, in addition to those discussed herein, all of the factors discussed in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended
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Source: Avista Corporation