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News Release
Avista Gas Rates to be Adjusted Twice
March 31, 2008 (2008-008) (UG-181)
Contacts:  Lee Beyer, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Ray Baum, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; John Savage, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Affairs Specialist, 503 378-8962
Salem, Ore. It should be barely noticeable. Beginning April 1, 2008, the first of two adjustments in natural gas rates will take effect for customers of Avista Corporation following a review and decision by the Oregon Public Utility Commission of the company’s general rate increase request.
Customer rates will change in two phases. April 1, 2008, rates will go up by just 0.7%, and by 1.1%, effective November 1, 2008 for a combined increase of 1.8% or $2,283,000 in annual revenues to account for higher labor, pension, insurance expenses and capital projects. The company had initially asked the Commission for a 2.3% hike or $2,975,000 annually.
For the average customer who uses 51 therms a month, the April 1 increase will amount to 45 cents and November 1 would be 89 cents.
The decision is the result of a stipulation reached between Avista, Commission Staff, the Citizens Utility Board, and Northwest Industrial Gas Users.
Rates will be phased in because a portion of the request includes two capital projects—East Medford Reinforcement and Jackson Prairie Storage. By law, money for such projects cannot be collected from customers until they are operational. Both projects are expected to be completed by November 1, 2008.
Avista serves approximately 92,355 customers in southern, central and northeastern Oregon.