Washington UTC Approves Multiparty Settlement in Avista Rate Case

On March 25, 2020, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (“UTC”) approved a multiparty settlement in Avista’s rate case. The decision will ultimately result in a rate increase, yet the Commission approved a number of refunds that will keep electric rates down this year, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As part of the settlement, $3.0 million will be set aside for Colstrip Community Transition Funding, which will be funded 50% from rates and 50% from shareholders. These funds will fund grants that will be made available to the residents of Rosebud County, Montana; local governments; labor organizations; and tribal members that will be affected by the expected closures of the Colstrip coal-fired units. The grants will help the community transition away from economic activity related to coal-fired electricity generation, such as education, worker re-training, low income energy efficiency or renewable energy programs.

Consistent with Washington State’s Clean Energy Transition Act, Avista will removing the costs of any coal-fired generation from Washington utility rates by 2025. Avista also agrees in this rate case that it will work with other co-owners of the Colstrip transmission to develop a transition plan for the use of Colstrip transmission as Colstrip units 1-4 retire.

The settlement also continues Avista’s decoupling mechanism which is a regulatory tool designed to encourage energy efficiency.

Avista also agrees to develop an on-bill repayment program for heling finance customer-side resources such as energy efficiency improvements.

Sanger Law represented the NW Energy Coalition in the rate case, which is an organization that leads the Northwest’s broadest alliance of energy interests in designing, promoting, and implementing clean, affordable, and equitable energy policy grounded in analytical expertise.





These materials are intended to as informational and are not to be considered legal advice or legal opinion, nor do they create a lawyer-client relationship. Information included about previous case results does not assure a similar future result.