Avista to ask regulators to reduce electric rates in northwest US by about 8 percent

SPOKANE, Wash., Aug. 15, 2001 – Avista Corp. today announced it will ask regulators in Washington and Idaho to allow the company to pass on to its residential and small farm customers approximately $14.5 million in benefits from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA).

If approved, qualifying customers in Washington would see a monthly rate reduction of around 10 percent. For Idaho customers, the rate reduction would be about 8 percent. The rate reductions are the result of a program aimed at giving electric customers a share of benefits from federal hydroelectric projects located in the Northwest. The reduction would be passed along to customers in the form of a bill credit.

Avista has asked utility commissions in each state to implement the rate reduction at the same time as proposed surcharges now under consideration by regulators. Avista filed surcharge requests last month to recover power costs it has been deferring since July 2000. The company has now asked the commissions to approve both the surcharges and the rate credits effective Sept. 15.

“The agreement with BPA will provide benefits for Avista’s customers for a 10-year period beginning this fall,” said Scott Morris, Avista Utilities president. “The timing of the implementation of these benefits will help soften the effect of the proposed rate surcharges.”

For eligible customers in Washington, using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month, the rate credit would amount to a reduction of $4.61. In Idaho, the average monthly rate reduction would be $4.39.

Morris said the agreement on specifics of the program came about as the result of extensive discussions and negotiations with a number of parties throughout the Pacific Northwest.

“Avista wishes to acknowledge and express appreciation for the substantial and beneficial role played by the commissions and their staffs throughout this process,” he said.

The proposed rate credit will be adjusted periodically over the 10-year term to match the actual benefits from the agreement. The rate credit would apply as a uniform, cents-per-kilowatt-hour reduction to most qualifying customers. Actual percentage reductions may vary according to factors contained in certain rate schedules.

Avista’s proposal is subject to public review and approval by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission and the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. A copy of Avista’s proposal is available from the offices of both commissions and Avista.

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 and Avista Power.

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 .

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.

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