Avista Utilities seeks OK for new billing mechanism

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COEUR d’ALENE — Avista Corp. no longer wants to be vulnerable to the whims of customer usage of electricity and natural gas — which is trending downward.

It wants to make sure it gets its money for standing ready at all times to make sure the lights come on when customers flip the switch, so the Spokane-based utility has asked Idaho’s utilities regulator to approve a billing mechanism called a “fixed cost adjustment.”

Avista, which serves 127,000 electric and 78,100 natural gas customers in Idaho, filed a request with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission this month for higher rates. It is seeking annual electric revenue increases of 5.2 percent, or $13.2 million, and 5.8 percent, or $3.2 million, for natural gas.

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