June 3, 2013, 1:30 p.m. PDT: Avista electric customers in Washington could see a slight increase in their electric rates beginning Aug. 1, if the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission approves the company’s request to adjust a surcharge that funds the company’s popular electric energy efficiency program in the state.
If Avista’s request is approved, electric customers in Washington would see an overall 1.1 percent increase or $0.99 a month for residential customers using an average of 989 kilowatt hours a month beginning Aug. 1. The tariff adjustment has no impact on the company’s earnings.
The request was made to adjust the amount of funding required for Avista to operate its electric energy efficiency program in Washington, including the rebates and incentives paid to participating customers for installing energy saving measures. The request is a part of Avista’s annual report to Washington regulators regarding the funding of the company’s energy efficiency programs. Avista is not requesting to adjust the level of funding for its Washington natural gas energy efficiency programs, nor has the company requested adjustments to the level of energy efficiency funding in Idaho or Oregon.
The rebates and incentives offered by Avista continue to be popular options for customers interested in managing their energy use. Last year Avista customers in its three-state service area received more than 22,400 rebates and incentives totaling over $19.5 million. The energy savings are enough to power almost 6,500 Inland Northwest homes for a year and serve about 1,500 homes with natural gas for a year, or almost 77,600 megawatt hours and about 1.1 million therms of natural gas.
Of the rebates paid in 2012, more than 13,500 were to Washington customers totaling over $12.7 million and more than 6,500 rebates to Idaho customers totaling over $5.8 million. Avista’s natural gas customers in Oregon received more than 2,300 rebates totaling over $928,000. The most popular energy and cost-saving measures for residential customers included purchasing Energy Star ® appliances, installing high efficiency natural gas furnaces, and upgrading insulation.
Nearly $2 million was provided for weatherization for qualifying low-income customers in Washington and nearly $700,000 for Idaho customers. An additional $44,000 was provided for conservation education for Idaho customers.
In addition to helping customers manage their energy costs, the program helps Avista meet the energy efficiency savings requirements of the Washington state voter-approved Energy Independence Act. The Act requires Avista to acquire all cost-effective energy efficiency savings. Avista also offers the energy efficiency programs because generally it is less costly to help customers reduce their energy use than it is to build new generating facilities to meeting growing demand for energy.
Information on available energy efficiency rebates and incentives from Avista for residential, commercial and low-income customers is available at avistautilities.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 362,000 customers and natural gas to 323,000 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-utility subsidiary is Ecova, an energy and sustainability management company with over 700 expense management customers, representing more than 600,000 sites. Our stock is traded under the ticker symbol "AVA." For more information about Avista, please visit 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, 2012.
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