Avista 'very disappointed' by Washington UTC's decision in PCRA filing
Avista's Power Cost Rate Adjustment filing was dismissed yesterday by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. The PCRA filed by Avista on May 26, 2017 proposed an annual electric revenue increase of $15M or 2.9%, effective Sept. 1, 2017. This filing was separate from the electric and natural gas general rate cases also filed on May 26, 2017. This filing was made following meetings with Commissioners, Commission Staff and other parties involved in ratemaking proceedings, and was designed to be a starting point to get cost recovery back on track for Avista's Washington electric operations. The UTC's order in December 2016 provided no revenue increase for 2017, which has resulted in the electric rate increase request of 12.5% in Avista's pending general rate case in Washington to be higher than it otherwise would have been. The proposed PCRA increase was designed to make incremental progress with a 2.9% increase to customers Sept. 1, 2017, and a second-step increase effective at the conclusion of the general rate case on or around April 26, 2018. "We are very disappointed in the Commission's decision," said Scott Morris, Avista's Chairman, President and CEO. "The increased costs included in the PCRA were known changes in power costs, which have generally been less controversial in prior regulatory proceedings. The PCRA was an opportunity to begin to get retail rates back on track for customers, as well as provide some incremental improvement in earnings for the Company." Avista's power supply costs, on a normalized basis, are much higher than those built into base retail rates, and a revenue increase is needed to recover these increased costs on a going-forward basis. These increased costs are included in Avista's pending general rate case in Washington, which is scheduled to be concluded by April 26, 2018.