Avista natural gas customers to see rate decrease

Avista natural gas customers to see rate decrease
Avista Corporation

Avista’s natural gas customers in Washington will see a small change on their energy bills beginning Jan. 26.

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission today approved the rate decrease for Avista Utilities natural gas customers, reflecting a decrease in expected wholesale gas costs.

The average bill for a typical Avista residential natural gas customer in eastern Washington using 54 therms (a unit of heat equivalent to 100,000 Btu or 1.055 × 108 joules) will fall by 6.3 percent, or $3.05 a month, for an average monthly bill of $45.39.

Natural gas companies are required to submit Purchased Gas Cost Adjustment (PGA) filings at least every 15 months to adjust rates based on the constantly changing cost of natural gas in the wholesale market. The total cost of gas is passed on to customers, which means companies do not profit from, or lose money on, gas purchases.

The company last submitted PGA filings in October 2017, which also resulted in small decreases to natural gas customer bills. Avista also has a general rate case requesting a three-year rate plan pending before the commission.

The commission is expected to make a decision on that proposal this spring.

Spokane-based Avista serves nearly 153,000 natural gas customers in eastern Washington.

The three-member state commission regulates the private, investor-owned natural gas utilities in Washington.

It is the commission’s responsibility to ensure regulated companies provide safe and reliable service to customers at reasonable rates, while allowing them the opportunity to earn a fair profit.