UPDATE: February 1, 2017:
We've recently been flooded with concerns from viewers about spikes in their Avista power bills. Our Facebook post from January 2016 recently took off again as people received their bills and had questions concerning the drastic bump in the amount owed.
We have our reporter Joe McHale working on this story to get an update for this year, but in the meantime, here is our coverage from last year that may be able to help you solve any questions you might have:
It's been a month after the worst windstorm Spokane County has ever seen knocked out power to much of the Inland Northwest. Many people were shocked to open their energy bills this month to find a serious jump in the amount due. Sometimes five, six or even seven times their normal bill.
One reason Avista says the cost could be more than you were expecting is the meter. Right after the windstorm, Avista crews weren't able to get to some meters and read them, so the company estimated usage. If the bill was too high, Avista says it should correct itself next month.
A lot of people were probably expecting their bills for this cycle to be lower because they were without power for several days -- in some cases more than a week, but that wasn't the case.
The utility says people who did have power during windstorm may have been spending more time at home then normal and using more power.
If you think your bill is high, Avista says to log in and look at your bill on their website. Go to my bill, and then choose bill analyzer. It should help explain why your bill looks different. Some reasons could be weather, a rate increase, or increased energy usage.
Other things to note are Avista says you are only charged for power that you use and no charge is being transferred to the customer for any repairs that had to be made to Avista equipment following the windstorm.
This time of year is when your bill starts to go up and it peaks around January or February, then tapers off through spring and summer