Feb. 26--Avista Corp.'s income shot up 42 percent in 2013, following strong utility revenue resulting from a cold winter and hot summer, which drove up energy use.
The Spokane-based utility reported a net income of $111.1 million for 2013, compared to $78.2 million in net income in 2012.
Avista spokeswoman Jessie Wuerst said the utility is back on track following a less profitable year in 2012, which was influenced by lower energy demand from milder weather, costs associated with a buyout plan to trim the utility's workforce and lower earnings at Avista's subsidiary Ecova.
Avista's 2013 earnings also benefitted from general rate increases for utility customers and a $12 million settlement with the Bonneville Power Administration over use of the company's transmission lines. About 60 percent of the settlement went to customers in the form of rebates on their utility bills, Wuerst said.
The utility recently asked Washington regulators to approve higher electric and natural gas rates, effective Jan. 1, 2015, and expects to file a similar request in Idaho. The majority of the rate requests come from the utility's need to invest in new facilities and upgrade equipment, said Scott Morris, Avista's chairman and CEO, in a statement.
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