Avista requests natural gas price decrease of Idaho

Avista requests natural gas price decrease of Idaho
Avista Corporation

Avista today filed its Purchased Gas Cost Adjustment request with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission that, if approved, would lower the average Idaho customer’s monthly bill $.34

The annual filing has no impact on the company’s earnings, and is not related to the proposed acquisition of Avista by Hydro One.

The PGA is filed each year to balance the actual cost of wholesale natural gas purchased by Avista to serve customers with the amount included in rates.

This includes the natural gas commodity cost as well as the cost to transport natural gas on interstate pipelines to Avista’s local distribution system.

While Avista typically files PGAs in August of each year, Avista filed an out-of-cycle PGA in December 2017 which reduced natural gas rates by 7.4 percent effective Jan. 26, 2018.

The primary drivers for that rate reduction included continued low natural gas commodity costs due to the continued high production levels of natural gas, and a reduction in the cost to transport natural gas to Avista’s distribution system.

Those costs have remained generally the same since the prior rate reduction, which is why the proposed reduction in this PGA is relatively small.

About 40 percent of an Avista natural gas customer’s bill is the combined cost of purchasing natural gas on the wholesale market and transporting it to Avista’s system.

These costs fluctuate up and down based on market prices, and are not marked up by Avista. The remaining 60 percent covers the cost of delivering the natural gas — the equipment and people needed to provide safe and reliable service.

Customer Bills
If the request is approved, Avista residential customers using an average of 63 therms per month could expect their monthly bill to decrease from $48.31 to $47.97, beginning Nov. 1, 2018, a decrease of $0.34 or 0.7 percent.

If approved the new rate would be effective Nov. 1, 2018.