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Avista Utilities Urges South Lake Tahoe Customers to Keep Meters, Appliance Vents Clear of Snow
Blocked meters and vents can cause a variety of problems

Spokane, Wash., February 11// -- With a combination of heavy snowfall and the thawing and freezing temperatures in South Lake Tahoe, Avista Utilities is urging its customers to clear snow and ice away from natural gas meters and from appliance vents located outside their residences. This will help prevent damage to the meters and help ensure the proper and safe operation of appliances, such as furnaces, water heaters, natural gas fireplaces and clothes dryers.

Outdoor natural gas meters are designed to withstand harsh winter conditions. However, it is important that the snow be carefully removed from the meter to prevent damage. Never kick or hit a natural gas meter or its piping to break away built-up snow or ice. A clear meter also provides easier, safer access for maintenance and emergency responders, as well as an accurate meter reading.

With exterior vents placed only about 12 inches from the ground, snow accumulation could hamper the proper and safe operation of direct-vent appliances that expel products of combustion, such as carbon monoxide, to the outdoors. All vented appliances require an uninterrupted supply of fresh air and a clear exhaust path in order to work properly and safely. Blowing and drifting snow or snow sliding off a roof can block the intake and exhaust vents, forcing appliances to automatically shut down and possibly causing serious damage and/or health risks.

Avista also suggests that customers check on their elderly or infirm neighbors to make sure their natural gas meters and appliance vents are free of snow and ice accumulation.

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 a company operating division that provides service to 330,000 electric and 305,000 natural gas customers in four western states. Avista's non-regulated subsidiaries include Avista Advantage and Avista Energy. Avista Corp.'s stock is traded under the ticker symbol "AVA." For more information about Avista, please visit www.avistautilities.com

Avista Corp. and the Avista Corp. logo are trademarks of Avista Corporation.

CONTACTS:

Debbie Simock

509-495-4174

debbie.simock@avistacorp.com

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