Avista Utilities has reached a settlement with stakeholders in a rate case that could reduce electric service rates for Idaho customers.

The settlement, if approved by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, would decrease annual billed electric revenues by $7.18 million — or 2.84 percent.

The average electric customer using 900 kilowatt hours a month could expect to pay $84.45, a decrease of 86 cents, or 1 percent, in their monthly bill.

Avista, which serves 133,000 customers in Idaho, indicated the rate settlement supports its efforts to maintain and invest in infrastructure while continuing to earn a fair return in Idaho.

“We’re pleased to pass the benefits of this settlement agreement to our customers during the heating season,” Dennis Vermillion, Avista president and CEO, said in a statement. “This settlement agreement will provide new rates in Idaho that are fair and reasonable for our customers.”

The Idaho Conservation League, which was involved in the rate case negotiations, voiced support for the settlement.

As part of the settlement, Avista is funding a new $1.6 million program for energy savings projects in northern Idaho.

“We thank Avista, the Idaho PUC staff, the Idaho Forest Group, Clearwater Paper and the Lewiston Community Action Partnership for supporting energy conservation,” Matt Nykiel, ICL’s conservation associate in Sandpoint, said in a statement. “More efficient use of electricity means less reliance on fossil fuels at Avista’s Colstrip coal-fired power plant.”

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