SPOKANE, WA -- (Marketwire) -- 12/26/12 -- Avista (NYSE: AVA) received approval today from the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) on the multi-party settlement agreement that was filed with the UTC on October 19, 2012, concluding the company's electric and natural gas rate request filed on April 2, 2012. New rates will take effect on Jan. 1, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014. The approved rates provide for an authorized return on equity of 9.8% and an equity ratio of 47%.
The approved rates are designed so that, effective Jan. 1, 2013, Avista will increase base rates for electric customers by an overall 3.0 percent to provide an additional $13.65 million in annual revenue. Base rates for natural gas customers will increase by an overall 3.6 percent to provide an additional $5.3 million in annual revenue. A one-year credit of $4.4 million will be returned to electric customers from the existing Energy Recovery Mechanism (ERM) deferral balance so that the net average electric rate increase to customers in 2013 would be 2.0 percent. The credit to customers from the ERM balance will not impact company earnings.
Effective Jan. 1, 2014, Avista will increase base rates for electric customers by an overall 3.0 percent to provide an additional $14 million in annual revenue. Base rates for natural gas customers will increase by an overall 0.9 percent to provide an additional $1.4 million in annual revenue. A one-year credit of $9.0 million will be returned to electric customers from the then-existing ERM deferral balance, if such funds are available, so that the net average electric rate increase to customers effective Jan. 1, 2014 would be 2.0 percent.
As a result of the approval by the UTC, Avista has agreed to not file a general rate case in Washington that would cause an increase in base retail rates before Jan. 1, 2015.
"The decision is positive for both our customers and our shareholders, providing for cost recovery over the next two years from investments made to update our energy delivery systems," said Dennis Vermillion, Avista Corp. senior vice president and president of Avista Utilities. "It gives our customers more certainty in their energy rates and keeps their energy prices at some of the lowest levels in the Northwest and the nation. The revenue increases reflected in the approved rates, together with our continued management of the growth in utility costs, provides the opportunity to reduce regulatory lag in Washington in 2013 and 2014."
Beginning Jan. 1, 2013 an electric residential customer in Washington using an average of 989 kilowatt hours per month would see an increase of 1.5 percent or $1.20 per month, inclusive of the proposed ERM rebate, for a revised bill of $78.69. As a result of proposed changes in rate design, natural gas customers in Washington using an average of 68 therms per month would see a decrease of 0.6 percent or $0.38 per month, for a revised monthly bill of $60.37.
Most Popular Stories
- Bipartisan Budget Deal Gets Key Support in House
- GM to Stop Making Autos in Australia
- Clinton to Keynote Annual Simmons Leadership Conference
- Selena Gomez, Shakira Among Top Hispanic Searches
- It's Primary Time in Texas
- How Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies Work
- Bitcoin Clones Lurch Onto Financial Scene
- How to Survive a Subzero Stranding
- PhD Project Grooms Business Profs
- N.M. Dems Say Nonprofit Helping Martinez Campaign