Avista Proposes Electric Energy Buy-Back for all Customers

The More Energy Customers Conserve, the More Credit They Could Earn



Apr 13, 2001, 01:00 ET from Avista Utilities

    SPOKANE, Wash., April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Avista Utilities, a unit of
 Avista Corp. (NYSE:   AVA), today filed a request with the Washington and Idaho
 utility commissions to implement an all-customer electric energy buy-back
 program. Under the proposed program, Avista Utilities would credit eligible
 customers' bills five cents per kilowatt-hour for reducing their electric use
 by more than five percent, as compared to the same period last year.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/19990629/AVALOGO )
     If approved by the state utility commissions, the program would be
 effective May 15 until Oct. 12. All metered residential, commercial and
 industrial customers who have lived at the same address, or who have had the
 same place of business, for the past 12 consecutive months would be eligible.
 Customers already participating in other energy buy-back programs would not be
 eligible.
     Avista Utilities President Scott Morris said, "Each kilowatt-hour of
 electric energy that customers save is power we won't have to generate or
 purchase in volatile wholesale power markets. And the savings flow directly to
 our customers. Immediately, they would see lower power bills because they will
 have used less energy and may receive a bill credit through this proposed
 program."
     Current poor hydro conditions have combined with market forces in the West
 and the deregulation situation in California to create a "perfect storm,"
 where wholesale power prices are now 10 to 20 times higher than they were only
 a year ago. And these prices may go even higher this summer.
     "With drought conditions, the Pacific Northwest faces a critical water
 year for hydro power generation. Utilities throughout the Northwest, including
 Avista, may not be able to have enough low-cost hydro power available and then
 would need to purchase higher priced energy in the wholesale electric markets
 to serve customer needs," said Morris.
     "Under these current conditions, it is absolutely critical that we reduce
 the demand for electricity. Conservation is the best and lowest-cost way to
 meet our energy needs until new generating resources are built."
     While Avista's retail electric rates have remained relatively stable, the
 company has been deferring wholesale power costs since July 2000. Avista is
 not requesting an increase in electric rates at this time. The company is
 positioned to be in a surplus power position in 2002. The sale of this surplus
 power is expected to result in increased revenues to offset power costs and
 enable Avista to minimize the risk of an increase in retail rates to its
 customers.
     Morris said there are three risk factors to this strategy that would force
 Avista to purchase additional high-priced power on the open market and
 potentially pass those costs on to customers in the form of higher rates:
 worsening hydro conditions; prolonged outages at a thermal generating power
 plant; and the inability for Avista to install additional generation this
 summer.
 
                           Start saving energy today:
 
     In the next few weeks, Avista will be introducing additional energy
 conservation programs to promote aggressive savings. These include rebates for
 high-efficiency furnaces, heat pumps, compact fluorescent light bulbs,
 programmable thermostats, weatherization and water heaters. In the meantime,
 here are some easy to implement tips to start you on your way to saving
 energy:
 
     -- Set your thermostat at or below 68 degrees during winter months for
        heating and at 76degrees or higher during summer months for cooling.
     -- Clean or replace furnace filters at least once a month.
     -- Set your hot water tank to mid-range (120 degrees). Take short showers
        and install a low-flow showerhead.
     -- Turn off unnecessary lights, TVs, computers and other electric
        appliances when not in use.
     -- Only run full loads in the clothes- and dishwashers. Wash clothes in
        cold or warm -- not hot!
 
     For more tips on what you can do to conserve energy in your home or
 business, visit our website at www.avistautilities.com and take our Home
 Energy Audit. Or call 800-227-9187 to speak to a customer service
 representative.
     Avista Corp. is an energy, information and technology company whose
 utility and subsidiary operations focus on delivering superior products and
 providing innovative solutions to business and residential customers
 throughout North America.
     Avista Corp.'s affiliate companies include Avista Utilities, which
 operates the company's electric and natural gas generation, transmission and
 distribution business. Avista's non-regulated businesses include
 Avista Advantage, Avista Labs, Avista Communications, Avista Energy,
 Avista Energy Canada, Ltd., Avista Power, and Avista Ventures. Avista Corp.'s
 stock is traded under the ticker symbol "AVA." For more information about
 Avista Corp. and its affiliate businesses, visit the corporate website at
 www.avistacorp.com
     NOTE:  Avista Corp. and the Avista Corp. logo are trademarks of
 Avista Corporation. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the
 property of their respective owners.
     This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding the
 company's current expectations. Forward-looking statements are all statements
 other than historical facts. Such statements speak only as of the date of the
 news release and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of
 which are beyond the company's control, which could cause actual results to
 differ materially from the expectations. These risks and uncertainties
 include, in addition to those discussed herein, all of the factors discussed
 in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2000.
 
 

SOURCE Avista Utilities
    SPOKANE, Wash., April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Avista Utilities, a unit of
 Avista Corp. (NYSE:   AVA), today filed a request with the Washington and Idaho
 utility commissions to implement an all-customer electric energy buy-back
 program. Under the proposed program, Avista Utilities would credit eligible
 customers' bills five cents per kilowatt-hour for reducing their electric use
 by more than five percent, as compared to the same period last year.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/19990629/AVALOGO )
     If approved by the state utility commissions, the program would be
 effective May 15 until Oct. 12. All metered residential, commercial and
 industrial customers who have lived at the same address, or who have had the
 same place of business, for the past 12 consecutive months would be eligible.
 Customers already participating in other energy buy-back programs would not be
 eligible.
     Avista Utilities President Scott Morris said, "Each kilowatt-hour of
 electric energy that customers save is power we won't have to generate or
 purchase in volatile wholesale power markets. And the savings flow directly to
 our customers. Immediately, they would see lower power bills because they will
 have used less energy and may receive a bill credit through this proposed
 program."
     Current poor hydro conditions have combined with market forces in the West
 and the deregulation situation in California to create a "perfect storm,"
 where wholesale power prices are now 10 to 20 times higher than they were only
 a year ago. And these prices may go even higher this summer.
     "With drought conditions, the Pacific Northwest faces a critical water
 year for hydro power generation. Utilities throughout the Northwest, including
 Avista, may not be able to have enough low-cost hydro power available and then
 would need to purchase higher priced energy in the wholesale electric markets
 to serve customer needs," said Morris.
     "Under these current conditions, it is absolutely critical that we reduce
 the demand for electricity. Conservation is the best and lowest-cost way to
 meet our energy needs until new generating resources are built."
     While Avista's retail electric rates have remained relatively stable, the
 company has been deferring wholesale power costs since July 2000. Avista is
 not requesting an increase in electric rates at this time. The company is
 positioned to be in a surplus power position in 2002. The sale of this surplus
 power is expected to result in increased revenues to offset power costs and
 enable Avista to minimize the risk of an increase in retail rates to its
 customers.
     Morris said there are three risk factors to this strategy that would force
 Avista to purchase additional high-priced power on the open market and
 potentially pass those costs on to customers in the form of higher rates:
 worsening hydro conditions; prolonged outages at a thermal generating power
 plant; and the inability for Avista to install additional generation this
 summer.
 
                           Start saving energy today:
 
     In the next few weeks, Avista will be introducing additional energy
 conservation programs to promote aggressive savings. These include rebates for
 high-efficiency furnaces, heat pumps, compact fluorescent light bulbs,
 programmable thermostats, weatherization and water heaters. In the meantime,
 here are some easy to implement tips to start you on your way to saving
 energy:
 
     -- Set your thermostat at or below 68 degrees during winter months for
        heating and at 76degrees or higher during summer months for cooling.
     -- Clean or replace furnace filters at least once a month.
     -- Set your hot water tank to mid-range (120 degrees). Take short showers
        and install a low-flow showerhead.
     -- Turn off unnecessary lights, TVs, computers and other electric
        appliances when not in use.
     -- Only run full loads in the clothes- and dishwashers. Wash clothes in
        cold or warm -- not hot!
 
     For more tips on what you can do to conserve energy in your home or
 business, visit our website at www.avistautilities.com and take our Home
 Energy Audit. Or call 800-227-9187 to speak to a customer service
 representative.
     Avista Corp. is an energy, information and technology company whose
 utility and subsidiary operations focus on delivering superior products and
 providing innovative solutions to business and residential customers
 throughout North America.
     Avista Corp.'s affiliate companies include Avista Utilities, which
 operates the company's electric and natural gas generation, transmission and
 distribution business. Avista's non-regulated businesses include
 Avista Advantage, Avista Labs, Avista Communications, Avista Energy,
 Avista Energy Canada, Ltd., Avista Power, and Avista Ventures. Avista Corp.'s
 stock is traded under the ticker symbol "AVA." For more information about
 Avista Corp. and its affiliate businesses, visit the corporate website at
 www.avistacorp.com
     NOTE:  Avista Corp. and the Avista Corp. logo are trademarks of
 Avista Corporation. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the
 property of their respective owners.
     This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding the
 company's current expectations. Forward-looking statements are all statements
 other than historical facts. Such statements speak only as of the date of the
 news release and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of
 which are beyond the company's control, which could cause actual results to
 differ materially from the expectations. These risks and uncertainties
 include, in addition to those discussed herein, all of the factors discussed
 in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2000.
 
 SOURCE  Avista Utilities

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