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State approves electric bill decrease for Avista customers

Feb. 11, 2010
Docket Number: UE-100068

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Electricity bills for Avista customers will fall by 7 percent tomorrow after state regulators today approved the elimination of an existing energy surcharge.

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) agreed to the utility’s removal of the 7 percent or $5.35 monthly energy surcharge imposed during the 2001 West Coast energy crisis. As a result, the average Avista residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatts a month will see a reduction in his or her monthly electric bill from $77.14 to $71.79.

The commission approved the energy surcharge in 2001 in response to the company’s significant and unanticipated expenses for power necessary to meet the needs of its retail customers. At the time, the Pacific Northwest suffered a drought that caused stream flows necessary for hydroelectric generation to drop to near-historic lows regionally and to the worst on record for Avista specifically, which resulted in record-high wholesale power prices.

Spokane-based Avista serves more than 232,000 electric 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.

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Staff contact: Marilyn Meehan
Posted/updated: 05/03/2010

 

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