Spokane, WA-based Avista Utilities faces changes for two rate credits in its purchased gas and power mechanisms that could result in slight increases for fuel purchasing costs, effective Nov. 1. A purchased gas cost adjustment and a power credit with Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) emerged following rate hikes approved by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, which allows retail power charges to increase by 9.25% over three years and natural gas retail charges to rise 2.6% over two years. An initial power rate increase of 3.59% and a natural gas hike of 1.9% went into effect Oct. 1. Avista is proposing an average 4.3% increase for its Idaho gas customers, an average of about $2.75/month for a typical residential customer. The electric adjustment is due to BPA reducing the size of the federal power credit.

Houston-based Dynegy Inc. urged its shareholders to approve a pending merger with an affiliate of private equity firm The Blackstone Group LP and its $4.50/share offer at an upcoming special shareholders meeting Nov. 17. CEO Bruce Williamson sent a letter to shareholders noting that the company’s financial position has worsened since the $4.7 billion deal ($542.7 million cash and the rest acquired debt) was announced in August (see NGI, Aug. 16). Williamson said that if the Blackstone deal doesn’t close, Dynegy stockholders are facing the prospect of significant further loss of value below the pre-merger announcement stock price level ($2.78/share). The stock in recent weeks has been trading above the Blackstone offer level of $4.50/share.

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