(SANDPOINT) The Idaho Conservation League opposes Avista Power’s request with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to raise electricity rates for its customers in North Idaho. Instead, ICL advocates that Avista use money from a failed merger to benefit Idahoans by keeping rates the same and funding ways for its customers to save energy. Negotiations on Avista’s request start on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

In its June 2019 “general rate” filing with the Idaho PUC,  Avista Power requested a 3.5% rate increase for its residential customers. This translates to an extra cost of $2.89 a month per home in North Idaho. ICL firmly disagrees with this request. 

Matt Nykiel, ICL’s conservation associate in Sandpoint, said,  “Avista has a clear choice in this rate case. The utility can either benefit its customers or ignore them to benefit its shareholders.” He added, “We think Avista should use money from its failed merger with Hydro One last year to fund energy savings programs for its customers and keep rates from going up.”

When Avista’s merger with Canadian company Hydro One broke apart in 2018, Hydro One paid Avista $103 million as a termination fee.  Avista plans to keep all this money for its shareholders. ICL strongly suggests Avista provide at least $5 million of this termination fee to help Idahoans conserve energy as ICL stated in merger negotiations last year. 

ICL protects Idaho’s air quality and climate stability by working to eliminate Idaho’s reliance on fossil fuels for electricity. ICL engages with Idaho utilities, regulators, and customers to create policies that encourage developing Idaho’s own clean energy sources. Unlike out-of-state fossil fuels, solar, wind and geothermal power is produced right here in Idaho and puts electricians, home builders and other local companies to work.