Idaho regulators have scheduled a hearing for Sept. 13 to take public comments on a settlement that would result in a net rate decrease for Spokane, WA-based Avista Utilities‘ natural gas and electric retail utility customers in northern Idaho. In July Avista applied for gas and power rate increases averaging 2.7% and 3.7%, respectively, but the proposed settlement would allow much smaller average increases of 1.6% and 1.1%, effective Oct. 1. With several other rate adjustments for the combination utility, customers face the prospect of overall decreases of about 1% for gas and 2.4% for electricity. In addition, as part of the deal Avista would not seek another increase in base rates from the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC) before April 1, 2013. The three PUC commissioners will conduct a combination public and technical hearing Sept. 13 in Coeur d’Alene, ID.
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