Avista Utilities files Integrated Resource Plan with Idaho Public Utilities Commission

Published on October 16, 2018 by Kevin Randolph

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Avista Utilities recently filed with the Idaho Public Utilities Commission (PUC) its Natural Gas Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which indicates that Avista expects increased reliance on conservation and efficiency over the next 20 years.

The PUC accepted the plan, which signals that the company has met its requirement to file the plan. The commission is accepting written comments on the plan through Dec. 13.

According to the IRP, the utility does not expect growth in demand among its traditional residential and commercial customers for the planning period but notes that lower prices could result in increased demand from large industrial customers.

Under the IRP’s Expected Case scenario, the total number of customers would grow from 348,000 today to 412,000 in 2037, and the average daily demand would increase at an annual rate of 0.02 percent. Peak-day demand for natural gas is expected to increase by an average of 0.71 percent annually through 2037.

In all conditions except the High Growth and Low Price scenario, analysis conducted for the IRP found no resource deficiencies for the 20-year planning period. In all other cases, existing resources would be sufficient to meet demand through 2037.

In its IRP, Avista calls for efficiency and conservation, or Demand Side Management (DSM), to play a significant role in meeting demand, rather than increased supply. This differed from 2016 when the utility said low natural gas prices rendered DSM programs cost-ineffective.