Look For Money Back on Your June Bill

Media Contact: Melissa Moore, NW Natural melissa.moore@nwnatural.com, 503-818-9845 (pager)


June 1, 2016


Look For Money Back on Your June Bill

NW Natural issues credits to customers worth nearly $29 million

PORTLAND, Ore. — Northwest Natural Gas Company, dba NW Natural (NYSE:NWN), will issue two bill credits totaling $28.9 million to customers this month.

“This is great news for our customers, who are already paying less for natural gas than they did 15 years ago,” said Gregg Kantor, NW Natural CEO. “Natural gas continues to be an affordable and highly efficient energy choice for customers.”

Oregon customers can expect a $26 credit

The first bill credit is a refund for the Weighted Average Cost of Gas (WACOG) totaling $16.8 million for Oregon customers. The average residential customer in Oregon will receive a bill credit of about $16 and the average small commercial customer $75.

The WACOG credit is a result of wholesale natural gas costs being lower than what was set in rates, and is attributed to the decline in natural gas prices. Ordinarily, gas cost savings are held in a deferral account and returned as a reduction to customer bills beginning with the annual rates set each November. But this year, NW Natural filed a tariff with the Commission for permission to issue the credit starting June 1. The WACOG credits will be based on customers’ actual gas usage during the last several months, during which the decline in natural gas prices occurred.

The second bill credit is for approximately $9.4 million for interstate storage, and will be given to NW Natural’s Oregon customers on their June bills for the 14th year in a row. The average residential customer's credit will be about $10, and the average small commercial customer's will be nearly $41.

The interstate storage credit is a result of efficient pipeline capacity management and effective use of the company’s underground natural gas storage facility in Mist during 2015. The technique used to make the most of these resources is called “optimization.”

In the last 10 years, Oregon customers have received more than $94 million in bill credits from optimized pipeline and storage capacity.

Washington customers will receive about $27 in June

In Washington, where about 11 percent of NW Natural customers reside, the WACOG credit will total approximately $2.6 million. The average residential customer in Washington will receive a bill credit of about $27 and the average small commercial customer nearly $111.

Washington customers also receive a benefit related to optimization as an offset to their rates that are established each November.

About NW Natural

NW Natural (NYSE:NWN) is headquartered in Portland, Ore., and provides natural gas service to about 718,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington. It is the largest independent natural gas utility in the Pacific Northwest. Additional information is available at www.nwnatural.com.

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