SPOKANE, Wash., March 12 // -- Avista (NYSE: AVA) today filed requests with utility commissions in Washington and Idaho that could result in a monthly credit on electric bills for the company's residential and small-farm customers provided the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) makes interim payments under its Residential Exchange Program as expected in early April.
If the interim payment from BPA and commission approvals are received, Avista's residential and small-farm customers using an average of 1,000 kilowatt-hours will receive on their monthly bill a 4.1 percent or $2.90 credit in Washington and 9.9 percent or $6.98 credit in Idaho. The credit would be effective April 11 through Oct. 31, 2008. If BPA does not provide Avista with its $9.6 million interim payment, customer bills will not change in Washington. However, in Idaho monthly bills would still decrease by 2 percent or $1.44 due to the expiration of a surcharge relating to the Residential Exchange Program that was put in place June 1, 2007.
In May 2007 the BPA suspended Residential Exchange Program payments which, under the Northwest Power Act, provided a share of the benefits of the federal Columbia River power system to the six investor utilities of the Pacific Northwest including Avista. Prior to May 2007 Avista customers received just over $20 million annually in benefits.
Kelly Norwood, Avista vice president of state and federal regulation, said the temporary reinstatement of the program is a welcomed first step.
"Avista has worked diligently with other investor-owned utilities in the region to regain for our customers the benefits due them from the federal hydropower system on the Columbia River. While we are glad a temporary agreement has been offered, we will continue to work with BPA toward a permanent reinstatement of the Residential Exchange Program that is intended to restore by October our customers' fair share of federal Columbia River power benefits," Norwood said.
Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is our operating division that provides service to 352,000 electric and 311,000 natural gas customers in three Western states. Avista's primary, non-regulated subsidiary is Advantage IQ. Our stock is traded under the ticker symbol "AVA." For more information about Avista, please visit http://www.avistacorp.com/.
Avista Corp. and the Avista Corp. logo are trademarks of Avista Corporation. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.
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 Dec. 31, 2007.
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