Avista has reached a settlement agreement that, if approved by the Public Utility Commission of Oregon, would increase natural gas prices by about $3.50 a month by late 2014 for the average residential customer.
The settlement proposes that, effective Feb. 1, Avista would receive an increase in rates designed to increase its annual billed revenues by 4.4 percent, or $3.8 million. The second phase would become effective Nov. 1, 2014, and is estimated to provide for an increase of 1.6 percent or $1.35 million.
If the general rate request is approved by the PUC, a residential customer using an average of 48 therms per month would see a $2.65 per month increase, or 4.9 percent, for a revised monthly bill of $57, effective Feb. 1. The second bill change, effective Nov. 1, 2014, for a residential customer using an average of 48 therms per month would be an increase of 92 cents per month, or 1.6 percent, for a revised monthly bill of $57.92. Avista serves approximately 96,700 customers in Oregon.
Avista says its rate request would allow it to expand and replace facilities, and to invest in updated technology and replace some natural gas service pipe.