The Cost of Natural Gas Drops Again

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 12, 2016

 

The Cost of Natural Gas Drops Again

NW Natural files for rate reduction in Washington

PORTLAND, Ore. — NW Natural (NYSE:NWN), has filed for a rate reduction with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC). If approved, the new lower rates will take effect Nov. 1.

NW Natural has requested a residential rate reduction of 1.5% and commercial rates by 1.8%. The typical residential customer using an average of 53 therms a month would pay about 79 cents less each month. The typical commercial customer using 243 therms a month would pay about $3.94 less every month.

The Sept. 12 filing reflects relatively stable natural gas commodity prices for the coming year, as well as other year-to-year adjustments and costs approved by regulators.

“Our customers are paying less for their natural gas today than they did 15 years ago,” said David H. Anderson, NW Natural President and CEO. “It’s gratifying to be able to provide the efficiency and performance benefits of our product at such a great value.”

More Savings for Customers

This rate reduction is in addition to a bill credit customers received earlier this year. In June, NW Natural returned about $2.6 million to Washington customers because gas prices were lower than expected since rates took effect Nov. 1, 2015. The average residential customer received a bill credit of about $27, and the average small commercial customer’s credit was $111.

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 credit was based on customer gas use during the relevant months in which the decline in natural gas prices occurred.

More About Rates

Each year, local gas distribution companies file for rate adjustments with the WUTC based on expected gas commodity costs for the next 12 months; a true-up of any differences between the previous year’s gas costs and the amount collected from customers; and other adjustments based on previous agreements with the WUTC.

Regulators will issue a final decision on this year’s filing by the end of October, with new rates effective Nov. 1.

Find more information in the Rates & Regulations section of nwnatural.com or call 503-226-4211 and ask for the Rates & Regulatory Department.

About NW Natural

NW Natural (NYSE:NWN) is headquartered in Portland, Ore., and provides natural gas service to about 707,000 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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