Idaho Public Utilities Commission staff, in a Nov. 3 decision memorandum, recommended that the commission issue an order adopting a schedule as it pertains to Avista’s d/b/a Avista Utilities‘ proposed rate increase.
That schedule calls for:
- Nov. 21 to be the deadline to file prefiled testimony relating to a proposed settlement
- Nov. 29 as the date for a telephonic customer hearing
- Dec. 2 as the date for a technical hearing
As noted in staff’s decision memorandum, Avista in May filed an application seeking authority to increase its electric base rates by $15.4m (6.3%) in Idaho.
Staff noted that on Oct. 14, it filed a motion requesting an amendment to the procedural schedule, and notifying the commission that the parties in the proceeding, including the Community Action Partnership Association of Idaho, have reached a settlement.
The commission granted that motion and vacated the pending comment deadlines, staff said, adding that the company and staff jointly moved the commission to further amend the case schedule, and ultimately approve the stipulation and settlement that has been entered into by all of the parties. That motion is now before the commission, staff noted.
According to the stipulation and settlement, dated Oct. 21, the parties agree that Avista should be allowed to implement revised tariff schedules designed to recover $6.25m in additional annual revenue, which represents a 2.6% increase in electric annual base tariff revenues, with new electric rates to become effective on Jan. 1, 2017. The settling parties agree to a 9.5% return on equity, with a 50% common equity ratio.
The stipulation and settlement further noted that for the electric residential basic charge (Schedule 1), the parties agreed that it will increase from $5.25 per month to $5.75 per month, an increase of 50 cents per month.
Staff said in its decision memorandum that the company and interested parties have agreed to meet and confer prior to the company’s next general rate case to assess its low-income programs and explore different options to improve those programs.