Byline: Shari Downhill
Dec. 12--Increased demand for natural gas has led Avista Corp. to ask for a 29 percent increase in Northwest residential rates and to warn some industrial customers of a possible temporary shutdown.
The natural gas utility has requested the rate increases for Washington and Idaho and soon will file a similar request in Oregon, according to Avista managers. It is not clear when the proposed increases would take effect.
The rate increase request reflects a significant hike in wholesale natural gas prices the Oregon Public Utilities Commission has authorized utility companies to pass through to customers.
Avista managers …