Avista Requesting Suspension Of Natural Gas Energy Efficiency Programs
Avista Press Release:
SPOKANE, Wash. – July 2, 2012: Avista has filed requests with the
utility commissions in Washington and Idaho to suspend the company's natural
gas energy efficiency programs. The requests were prompted by continuing low
wholesale natural gas prices and abundant supplies which have affected the cost
effectiveness of Avista's natural gas energy efficiency rebate and incentive
programs. If approved by the commissions, the programs will be suspended
beginning Sept. 1, 2012. Avista's energy efficiency rebate and incentive
programs for electric customers are not affected by the requests.
"The wholesale price of natural gas has been
declining in recent years. While this is very good news for customers who use
natural gas in their homes and businesses, these lower costs have added
challenges to offering a comprehensive natural gas energy efficiency program,"
said Jason Thackston, Avista's vice president of customer solutions. "The low
prices mean that it now costs more to provide natural gas energy efficiency
rebates and incentives than it costs for the natural gas that customers use.
That impacts Avista's ability to offer rebates for natural gas efficiency
said the costs are continually analyzed, and if appropriate, the programs could
be re-introduced in the future.
Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission and the Idaho Public
Utilities Commission approve Avista's requests to suspend the programs,
residential and commercial customers could submit rebates until Nov. 1, 2012,
for installing a high efficiency natural gas furnace/boiler or water heater and
installing insulation measures for attics, walls and floors in homes heated
with natural gas. Residential rebates for installing natural gas space and
water heat in an Energy Star Home would also sunset on Nov. 1. The effective
date for suspending customized energy efficiency programs for commercial and
industrial customers would be Sept. 1, 2012. Programs for limited-income
natural gas weatherization improvements will expire on Dec. 31, 2012.
our natural gas energy efficiency programs would be suspended if approved by
the commissions, natural gas remains the best, most cost-effective source for
heating our homes and businesses and for heating water," Thackston said.
taking advantage of the natural gas energy efficiency programs have saved over
6 million therms in the past three years. That's enough natural gas to serve
over 7,400 homes for a year. Current natural gas rates for Avista's Washington
customers are at levels similar to those in 2003 with Idaho rates below those
energy efficiency rebates and incentives available for electric residential,
commercial, industrial and low-income customers are not impacted by the
request. For information on those
programs and other energy-saving information, visit www.avistautilities.com.
Avista Utilities Avista Utilities is involved
in the production, transmission and distribution of energy. We provide energy
services and electricity to 360,000 customers and natural gas to 321,000
customers in a service territory that covers 30,000 square miles in eastern
Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a
population of 1.5 million. Avista Utilities is an operating division of Avista Corp. (NYSE: AVA). For more
information, please visit www.avistautilities.com.
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