May 2, 2011, 1:30 p.m. PDT: Avista natural gas customers in Washington and Idaho could see a decrease in their natural gas rates beginning July 1, if the public utility commissions in the two states approve the company’s request to reduce the natural gas portion of the company’s tariff-funded energy efficiency rebate and incentive programs.
The decrease is being requested to true-up the amount of funding for the program with the amount paid out in natural gas rebates and incentives to participating customers. The request is part of Avista’s annual report to Washington and Idaho regulators regarding the funding of the company’s energy efficiency programs. Avista has not requested to change the current electric energy efficiency tariff.
Natural gas customers in Washington would see an overall 2.9 percent decrease, or $1.66 a month decrease for residential customers using 67 therms, if Avista’s request is approved. Idaho natural gas customers would see an overall 4.2 percent decrease, or $2.41 a month decrease for a residential customer using an average 63 therms, if approved. These tariff adjustments have no impact on company earnings.
“Customers want to save energy, and they look to us for energy efficiency expertise as well as rebates and incentives,” said Patrick Lynch, Avista’s director of energy solutions. “Making efficiency improvements is a smart choice that helps customers reduce their energy use and reduces the amount of future energy generation required to meet growing energy needs.”
Last year customers in Avista’s three-state service area received over 42,000 rebates and incentives totaling almost $19 million The energy savings are enough to power over 5,700 Inland Northwest homes for a year and serve 3,100 homes with natural gas for a year, or almost 69,000 megawatt hours and 2.3 million therms of natural gas.
Of the rebates paid in 2010, over 28,000 were to Washington customers totaling $13.1 million, over 12,000 rebates to Idaho customers totaling $4.8 million, and Oregon customers received 2,400 rebates totaling $956,000. The most popular energy and cost-saving measures for residential customers included purchasing Energy Star ® appliances, installing high efficiency natural gas furnaces, and upgrading windows and insulation. The average residential rebate for single family homes was $131.
Approximately $1.5 million was provided for weatherization for qualifying low-income customers in Washington and $465,000 for Idaho customers. An additional $25,000 was provided for conservation education for Idaho customers.
Information on energy efficiency rebates and incentives Avista offers for residential, commercial and low-income customers is available at www.everylittlebit.com, along with other energy-saving information.
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 electric service to 359,000 customers and natural gas to 319,000 customers. Our service territory covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.5 million. 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 www.avistacorp.com.
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, 2010, and the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2011.
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