October 2009 Senior Life Notes - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

October 2009 Senior Life Notes

The season has definitely turned toward the cooler side of the year - you'll want to be sure you're being extra careful as things cool down, including being a good neighbor - check on other seniors in your neighborhood often over the coming months as things cool down.  Whether for physical wellness or just to help prevent "cabin fever"...pay a visit to someone you know!

Read on for articles, events, and partner information.

Preventing Kidney Stones...step-by-step.

Intel wants you "inside"...your own home, that is!  A new health-guide monitor is being tested that could save Seniors millions across the U.S.  Click here to learn more.

Autumn chores can be hazardous - Click here for more information.

Ever have questions about your body but aren't exactly sure where to begin?  A great place to start is the KHQ "Interactive Human Atlas".  It's an interesting and easy way to "surf" around the human body and get information about your own health.

The Food section of KHQ.com is another fun category full of recipes, food-related business information, diet and nutrition tips - be sure to check it out!


Customers want rates that are reasonable and fair.  So does Avista. 

That's why we work hard to keep all costs low - especially the two biggest components of rates:  the cost of energy, which is ultimately set by the wholesale market, and the cost of delivering that energy.

And, when a rate change is proposed, the state review process provides our customers with an additional, independent look at costs and rates. 

Some may think that we can raise our rates whenever we want - but in fact, the opposite is true.  As a regulated monopoly, our rates can change only with state approval.

Here's how it works.  When our costs change, we apply to the state utility regulatory commission for a rate change.  They examine all information about our costs.  Nothing is off limits. 

They also take testimony from interested organizations and our customers.  The commission, which is appointed by the governor, can take up to 11 months in Washington and seven months in Idaho to review a rate case.  It's a long, detailed and transparent process.

This Process ensures accountability. For example, as a regulated utility, we can't raise rates simply because no other utility serves the area.  Nor can a rate increase favor investors.  The regulatory process wouldn't allow it.  The process was created to make sure the interests of customers and shareholders are both protected. 

In the end, the commission sets rates that it determines to be reasonable and fair for our customers, while allowing us a chance to earn enough to be financially stable and continue to deliver energy safely and reliably to our customers.

We're interested in your thoughts on rates and regulation.  Share them and learn more at www.avistautilities.com/conversation.  Join the conversation at www.avistautilities.com/blog or email us at conversation@avistautilities.com.