Avista receives commission decision in Oregon natural gas rate case
Avista's natural gas rate case has concluded with an order from the Public Utility Commission of Orego that approves the all-party settlement filed in May 2017. The Commission approved rates designed to increase annual billed revenues by 3.7% or $3.5M. A rate adjustment of $2.6M will be effective Oct. 1, 2017, and a second adjustment of $0.9M will be effective Nov. 1, 2017 to cover specific capital projects identified in the settlement agreement, which are expected to be completed in October. The Commission's decision reflects a 9.4% return on equity, and a 50% equity layer. The rate of return is 7.35%. Including both the Oct. 1 and Nov. 1 rate adjustments, a residential customer using an average of 47 therms per month would see a $1.57 per month increase, or 2.8%, for a revised monthly bill of $57.75, effective by Nov. 1, 2017. The bill change reflects an increase in the monthly basic charge from $9.00 to $10.00.The actual percentage increase will vary by customer class and will depend on how much energy a customer uses. Avista serves approximately 99,000 customers in Oregon.