Utility resource costs increased $18.6 million, primarily due to an increase in regulatory deferrals associated with the Bonneville revenue described above and increases in purchased power, fuel and other fuel costs, and natural gas resource costs. For the first quarter of 2013, we recognized a pre-tax benefit of $3.1 million under the ERM in Washington compared to $4.2 million for the first quarter of 2012.
Natural gas revenues increased $7.8 million for the first quarter of 2013, as compared to the first quarter of 2012, due to an increase in wholesale natural gas revenues, partially offset by a decrease in retail revenues.
Retail natural gas revenues decreased $8.3 million primarily due to a decrease in retail rates (decreased revenues $10.0 million), partially offset by a slight increase in volumes (increased revenues $1.7 million). Lower retail rates were due to purchased gas adjustments, partially offset by the Washington general rate case. We sold more retail natural gas in the first quarter of 2013 as compared to the first quarter of 2012 primarily due to colder weather in January and February. Compared to the first quarter of 2012, residential natural gas use per customer increased 1 percent in the first quarter of 2013. Heating degree days at Spokane were close to historical average for the first quarter of 2013, and 1 percent above the first quarter of 2012. Heating degree days at Medford were 2 percent above historical average for the first quarter of 2013, and 2 percent below the first quarter of 2012.
Wholesale natural gas revenues increased $15.4 million due to an increase in prices and an increase in volumes.
Intracompany revenues and resource costs represent purchases and sales of natural gas between our natural gas distribution operations and our electric generation operations (as fuel for our generation plants). These transactions are eliminated in the presentation of total results for Avista Utilities and in the condensed consolidated financial statements, but they are reflected in the presentation of the separate results for electric and natural gas above. Intracompany revenues increased $13.8 million for the first quarter.
Utility depreciation and amortization increased $0.6 million driven by additions to utility plant.
Taxes other than income taxes increased $0.7 million primarily due to increased property taxes.
Ecova: For the first quarter of 2013, Ecova's revenues increased $5.4 million or 15 percent, as compared to the first quarter of 2012, and totaled $42.4 million. The increase in operating revenues was primarily the result of increased revenues associated with new services, which added $3.0 million to revenue. In addition, there was an increase in volumes associated with expense and data management services and energy management services, which added $2.1 million and $0.3 million to revenue, respectively.
Ecova's total operating expenses increased $0.9 million for the first quarter of 2013. The increase in total operating expenses primarily reflects an increase in depreciation and amortization of $0.7 million due to intangibles recorded in connection with the LPB acquisition and an increase in other operating expenses of $0.2 million.
Ecova's other operating expenses associated with cost of services increased $2.2 million for the first quarter of 2013 and totaled $22.3 million due to higher revenue volumes in expense and data management services and new services. Ecova's other operating expenses associated with selling, general and administrative expenses decreased by $2.0 million in the first quarter of 2013 and totaled $13.7 million. This decrease was primarily the result of a decrease in acquisition and integration costs of $1.5 million, which were incurred during the first quarter of 2012 and did not reoccur during 2013.
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