Attorney General asks Avista to lower rates - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Attorney General asks Avista to lower rates

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The Attorney General’s Office is asking Avista to lower their electric rates, instead of raising them. The Attorney General’s Office is asking Avista to lower their electric rates, instead of raising them.
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In a written testimony filed on July 27th, The Washington State Office of Attorney General asked Avista to lower their electric rates by 5.9%, which equates about $29,000,000. The Attorney General's office also told the Utilities and Transportation Commission that Avista should limit its rate increase for natural gas customers to $3,300,000 (about 2%.) 

“Our role is to represent ratepayers and ensure they get a fair deal,” Attorney General Bob Ferguson said. “Avista’s proposed rates are too high. My office’s recommendation would ensure a rate that is fair, just, reasonable and sufficient, as required by state law.”

The Office of Attorney General says that Avista had originally tried to increase rates by $33,200,000  (6.75 percent) for electric and $12,000,000 (6.9 percent) for natural gas, and is now asking for a rate hike of $17,000,000 and $11,300,000, respectively.

Avista responded to the Attorney General's statement by saying, "The filing of testimony by Staff, Public Counsel and other parties is part of the normal rate case process in Washington. We are in the process of reviewing the testimony which we received yesterday. Avista will have an opportunity to formally respond with testimony on September 4. After all of the input in a rate case from all parties is considered, the utility commission is charged with setting rates that are fair, just, and reasonable, and sufficient to allow Avista the opportunity to earn a reasonable return on investment."

According to the Attorney General's Office, members of the public can comment on the rate case by going to two public comment hearings:
 

  • Spokane: Tuesday, Sept. 15, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., in the Spokane City Council Chambers, 808 W. Spokane Falls Boulevard, Spokane. The commission will begin taking comments from members of the public at 6 p.m., ending no later than 7:30 p.m.
     
  • Spokane Valley: Wednesday, Sept. 16, from 12 p.m. (noon) to 1:30 p.m., in the Spokane Valley Council Chambers, 11707 E. Sprague Avenue, Spokane Valley. The commission will begin taking comments from members of the public at 12 p.m. (noon), ending no later than 1:30 p.m.
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