Frequently Asked Questions
We have seen a growing focus on clean electricity generation at the national, regional, and local levels. Our customers and communities are increasingly expressing an interest in knowing how Avista is positioned on this topic. While we have a strong and long track record related to clean electric generation, we felt it was time to be clear about our path forward.
This isn’t new for us. We have had 100% clean electricity generation for much of our company’s history. In the past six years, we have added or announced the addition of two solar power projects and two wind power projects. Reaching this goal will require further improvements in costs and technology associated with clean electric generation and energy storage as well as regulatory support. Going forward, we will track progress through our Integrated Resource Plan, which is filed every two years.
Yes. Our customers expect and it is our obligation to provide safe, responsible, and affordable energy services and solutions. We continue to recognize reliability as a foundational requirement in how we serve our customers. Our employees are focused every day on ensuring our customer’s receive reliable service. Reliability will be an essential design requirement for whatever solutions we utilize to achieve our clean energy goals.
This goal relies on improving costs, technology and regulatory support in the clean energy space, and we are committed to executing on this goal in ways that continue to value affordability and reliability for our customers.
Carbon neutral means achieving an overall net-carbon footprint by meeting our customers’ annual electric needs through either utilizing non-carbon emitting resources, or investing in or acquiring carbon offsets to net-out emissions created from carbon emitting resources. An example of a carbon offset is acquiring renewable energy credits from a renewable energy resource. Currently over 60 percent of Avista’s customers’ annual electric need is served from clean non-carbon emitting resources.
As we move forward with this goal, we will periodically report on our progress to our customers and communities.
You will continue to see Avista focus on affordability and reliability.
Natural gas is one of the cleanest burning fuels and is an essential part of reducing carbon emissions, particularly when used directly by customers in their homes rather than used to generate electricity to meet the same need. Compared to wood, heating oil and other fuels, natural gas improves air quality. Avista plans to continue to offer natural gas as an energy choice for customers. We have resources on myavista.com and through our customer service representatives to help inform customers about those decisions.
This goal relates to Avista’s electric utility, which includes customers in Washington and Idaho. We operate our electric utility as a system, and we will continue to value affordability, reliability and regulatory support as we carry out this clean electricity goal. Our employees will continue to work every day to provide our customers the best experience possible in all five states where we operate.
We will continue to value the affordability of our service as we carry out this goal. We are hearing a growing interest by our customers and communities to build upon our already-clean generation portfolio. Our goal is that the combination of relatively-low electricity rates, coupled with a cleaner portfolio of generation, will support the growth of existing businesses and attract new businesses to communities served by Avista.
Energy efficiency has been an important piece of our energy resource puzzle for forty years, and we will continue to partner with our customers to use electricity more efficiently. Energy efficiency is good for the customers’ energy use, and it reduces our need to build additional generation, reducing the carbon intensity of our local economy.
Renewable natural gas is non-conventional natural gas that comes from the breakdown of organic materials (plant and animal products) that has a much lower carbon footprint than conventional or geological natural gas. Examples include gas that comes from wastewater treatment plants, landfills, food waste, or cow manure.
Currently over 60 percent of Avista’s customers’ annual electric usage is served from clean non-carbon emitting resources.
If you have questions, please call a customer service representative at 1-800-227-9187 or visit myavista.com/greener.