Dear Idaho Public Utilities Commissioners:
I have a problem with Avista’s requested increases in the monthly electric basic charge from $5.25 to $8.50 and the monthly natural gas basic charge from $4.25 to $8.00. These increases are 62% and 88%, respectively.
First of all, I understand the need to increase rates. Avista’s operating costs and investments are going up. They are striving to provide good and efficient energy products and services.
However, these fixed monthly charge increases are not very smart, for both Avista and for us consumers, for the following reasons:
1. The basic monthly charge increases provide no incentive to reduce energy usage, peak demand, and the need for new energy investment. They do nothing to ensure a more sustainable energy future;
2. These basic monthly charge increases are onerous and regressive. Low and fixed income consumers with a small efficient residence take the same hit as the “one percenters” living in mansions on the lake.
Avista is not being fair or wise. Avista can do much more to ensure a more sustainable business and a more sustainable energy future.
PS. I have no problem with the increase in charges for energy usage, assuming it is justified by their costs and investments. Consumers have control over their energy usage and they can deal with it in several ways.
PSS. Please consider this an open letter to the public. I plan to submit this to some local newspapers.
Thanks for reading and for considering this comment.
William E. Stuble