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Avista natural gas customers will see their bills increase after a rate increase goes into effect on November 1. Avista Photo

Avista Passes On Higher Wholesale Costs

Natural gas customers will see their bills higher after a rate increase goes into effect on November 1.

The Oregon Utilities Board recently approved an increase in natural gas rates for Avista Utilities customers. Avista is spending more to buy wholesale natural gas amid rising prices globally. The PUC allows Avista to pass these cost increases on to customers.

The monthly bill for a typical residential customer will rise from $ 61.78 to $ 66.97, an increase of $ 5.19 or 8.4%, the PUC said.

The bill for a typical business customer will drop from $ 215.29 per month to $ 243.09, an increase of $ 27.80 or 12.9%, according to the PUC.

The monthly bill for a typical industrial customer will drop from $ 1,993.45 to $ 2,484.34, an increase of $ 550.89 or 28.5%, the PUC said.

Avista Utilities serves more than 106,000 customers in parts of southwestern and northeastern Oregon.

Since 2007, Avista has suffered 12 rate cuts and three rate increases due to changes in wholesale gas prices. Avista recently filed a tariff case with the PUC seeking additional revenue for non-gas costs. A decision on that filing, which is slated for mid-2022, will have an additional impact on customer rates, the PUC said.

To increase energy efficiency and save on energy bills, customers are encouraged to:

  • Turn down thermostats to save up to 3% for every degree. A programmable thermostat that reduces heat at night or when no one is home can reduce heating bills by 5-10%.
  • Update low efficiency furnaces and water heaters with higher efficiency models.
  • Fully insulate homes to save up to 30% on a heating bill.
  • Clean or change the furnace filter once a month during the heating season.
  • Perform a Home Energy Assessment online through the Energy Trust of Oregon by visiting www.energytrust.org/residential/evaluate-your-home. For advice and to learn more about financial incentives to make domestic, commercial or industrial operations more energy efficient, visit energytrust.org.
  • Learn about bill payment assistance programs by contacting Avista Customer Service. Call 1-800-227-9187 or email [email protected]

The PUC regulates the rates and services of investor-owned electricity, natural gas and fixed-line utility customers operating in Oregon, as well as certain water companies. The PUC has said its mission is to ensure that customers of Oregon’s utilities have access to safe, reliable, and high-quality utilities at fair and reasonable rates.

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