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Avista seeks to increase electric revenues

| August 1, 2020 1:00 AM

Avista has made its annual Power Cost Adjustment and Residential Exchange rate adjustment filings with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission that if approved, are designed to increase overall electric revenues by approximately $2.8 million or 1.1% effective Oct. 1. These annual filings have no impact on Avista’s earnings.

Avista previously made its annual Fixed Cost Adjustment filing on June 30, 2020, with the same proposed effective date of Oct. 1, 2020. If the FCA, PCA and Residential Exchange filings are approved, overall electric revenues are designed to decrease by approximately $0.2 million or 0.1% effective Oct. 1, 2020.

The first adjustment is Avista’s annual Power Cost Adjustment. The PCA is an annual rate adjustment made to reflect certain differences between Avista’s actual cost of generating and purchasing electric power to serve customers and the cost currently included in customer rates.

“It is a true-up to reflect the actual cost of power to serve customers,” a press release said.

The proposed PCA rate adjustment would surcharge to customers approximately $0.5 million effective Oct. 1. The surcharge is primarily associated with power supply costs that were higher than those included in retail rates, due to higher wholesale electric and natural gas prices.

As a result of Avista’s PCA filing last year, the Commission approved a rebate of approximately $1.7 million. That rebate will end Sept. 30, 2020. The net effect of the expiring rebate, and the proposed surcharge, is an overall increase in revenue of approximately $2.2 million, or 0.9%, the release said.

The second adjustment is related to the Bonneville Power Administration 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 in their monthly electric rates. Due to fluctuations in usage, Avista rebated to customers a level of benefits that was slightly higher than the level of benefits received from BPA.

Through this filing Avista is seeking to slightly reduce the level of benefits provided to qualifying customers in order to recover the over-rebated balance. As a result, the proposed revenue increase for these customers is approximately $0.6 million, or 0.2%.

If both filings are approved, residential electric customers in Idaho using an average of 898 kilowatt hours per month would see their monthly bills increase from $86.27 to $87.38, an increase of $1.11 per month, or approximately 1.3%. The proposed electric rate changes would be effective Oct. 1.

In addition to the filings discussed above, Avista previously made its annual Fixed Cost Adjustment (FCA) filing on June 30 with the same proposed effective date of Oct. 1.

If the FCA, PCA and Residential Exchange filings are approved, residential electric customers in Idaho using an average of 898 kilowatt hours per month would see their monthly bills decrease from $86.27 to $86.21, a decrease of $0.06 per month, or approximately 0.1%. The proposed electric rate changes would be effective Oct. 1.

Info: www.puc.idaho.gov