Avista Seeks Washington Rate Hikes

SPOKANE (AP) — It will cost more to keep the lights on and stay warm in much of Eastern Washington next year if Avista Corporation is granted a pair of rate hikes.

The Spokane utility filed yesterday for increases of 9.2 percent for electricity and 3.3 percent for natural gas. That translates into an average of $6.53 a month for electricity for a typical residential customer, boosting the total to $77.29 a month.

For gas users, the typical increase is $2.84 a month bringing that to a total of $87.99.

The state Utilities and Transportation commission usually takes ten to eleven months to act on rate increase requests.

Avista vice president Kelly Norwood says the $43 million in additional revenue is needed for a number of projects, including the re-licensing of five hydroelectric dams on the Spokane River.