Spokane, WA-based Avista Utilities has reached a partial settlement in Oregon for a $5.4 million natural gas utility general rate case.

The agreement includes cost of capital and adjustments related to employee benefits and other expenses. Parties also agreed to future independent review of interest rate hedging practices relating to future hedges.

The settlement sets profit margins such as rate of return at 7.4% and return on equity at 9.4%.

Avista also has filed for a $1.2 million, or 2%, increase in Idaho gas rates. The annual fixed cost adjustment (FCA) request also would lead to a 2% boost in electric rates.

Applying only to its traditional residential, business and industrial retail customers, the FCA increases are "rate adjustments primarily caused by a lower level of customer usage in 2018 due in part to a warmer than normal winter."

The FCA mechanisms do not apply to large electric general and street lighting services, nor to natural gas interruptible and transportation service.

Avista wants to extend the term of the FCA through March 31, 2025. Without an extension, the FCA would terminate at the end of this year. If approved by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, the rate hike would be effective Nov. 1, and the electric hike would take effect Oct. 1.