SPOKANE, WA--(Marketwired - September 12, 2014) - Avista (NYSE: AVA) filed its annual Residential Exchange Program and Purchased Gas Cost Adjustment (PGA) requests that would result in a 0.6 percent decrease in electric revenue, and increase natural gas revenue by 1.2 percent in Washington, if the requests are approved by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC). A Nov. 1, 2014 effective date was requested for the two adjustments, which have no impact on company earnings.
The electric adjustment is related to the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Residential Exchange Program. The Residential Exchange Program provides a share of the benefits of the federal Columbia River power system to the residential and small farm customers of the investor-owned utilities in the Pacific Northwest, including Avista. Avista applies the benefits it receives, which typically fluctuate from year to year, to customers as a credit on their monthly electric bill.
In 2014, Avista received a higher level of benefits than it had projected in last year's rate adjustment. As a result of the increased level of benefits, residential and small farm customers using an average of 965 kilowatt hours per month could see their monthly bill decrease from $80.09 to $79.03, a decrease of $1.06 per month or 1.3 percent, effective Nov. 1, 2014, if the UTC approves Avista's request.
Natural Gas Adjustment
The annual Purchased Gas Cost Adjustment (PGA) is filed each year to balance the actual cost of wholesale natural gas purchased by Avista to serve customers with the amount included in rates. This includes the natural gas commodity cost as well as the cost to transport natural gas on interstate pipelines to Avista's local distribution system.
If the request is approved by the UTC, an Avista residential customer using an average 65 therms per month could expect his or her bill to increase by $0.77, or 1.3 percent, for a revised monthly bill of $61.96 beginning Nov. 1, 2014. The filing would result in an overall increase of 1.2 percent or $1.9 million. Avista serves approximately 150,000 natural gas customers in Washington.
The primary driver for the company's requested increase is related to increased wholesale natural gas prices which were caused, in part, by a colder than normal winter throughout the United States this past heating season. The colder than normal winter led to an increase in overall natural gas demand and a heavy reliance on natural gas storage reserves. The cold weather and increased demand put upward pressure on natural gas prices during the winter and this trend continued as natural gas companies have been replenishing their natural gas storage facilities.
To help customers proactively manage their energy use, Avista offers a number of energy efficiency programs, energy-saving information, rebates and incentives. Avista also provides energy assistance programs and payment options for qualifying customers. Information about these customer programs and options is available at www.avistautilities.com.
About Avista Corp.
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 365,000 customers and natural gas to 325,000 customers. Its 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. Alaska Energy and Resources Company is an Avista subsidiary that provides retail electric service in the city and borough of Juneau, Alaska, through its subsidiary Alaska Electric Light and Power Company. Avista 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, 2013 and the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2014.