Seeking to lessen a third quarter earnings hit now in the 20 cents/diluted-share range, Spokane, WA-based Avista Corp. last Friday asked Idaho regulators to reconsider up to $7.4 million in natural gas and electric disallowances that were part of a general rate case decision regarding Avista Utilities’ operations in the southern end of the state (see Power Market Today, Sept. 15).

The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has until the end of this month to act on the utility’s request.

The PUC okayed a net increase in electric rates of 1.9% and a 6.4% increase in Avista’s base natural gas utility rates in its decision early last month. It actually authorized a base electric utility rate increase of 16.9%, but most of it was offset by decreases in the utility’s power cost adjustment surcharge.

In its petition for reconsideration filed last Friday, Avista asked the PUC commissioners to reconsider a $4.8 million disallowance of costs tied with natural gas supply contracts to provide fuel for the utility’s thermal generation plants. Similarly, it is also asking the PUC to reconsider another $2.6 million disallowance of costs related to the utility’s initial investment in Boulder Park generating facility. Avista is arguing the natural gas and generation plant construction costs were “prudently incurred.”

Avista said the state regulators’ decision required the holding company to write-off $14.7 million, reducing the company’s third-quarter earnings by 20 cents/diluted share.

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