Frequently Asked Questions

Get the answers to your questions.

What areas does NW Natural serve?

Based in Portland, Oregon, NW Natural serves residential, commercial and industrial customers in Western Oregon and Southwest Washington. 

How many customers does NW Natural have?

As of June 2012, our customers totaled more than 680,000. However, the number of customers is constantly growing.

How many customers does NW Natural have in each particular area?

We are happy to look up that information for you. Please contact our Communications Department at: media@nwnatural.com or 503-818-9845 for an accurate response.

How many employees does NW Natural have?

NW Natural has just over 1,000 fulltime, permanent employees as of June 2012.

What’s a therm?

A therm is a unit of heat energy. It’s defined as the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

What’s considered an average residential bill?

In Oregon, an average home uses 55 therms of natural gas. In Washington, an average home uses 57 therms.

Why does NW Natural change its rates every year?

Oregon and Washington regulators require NW Natural to adjust its rates each year based on how much it pays for gas during a 12-month period. The Weighted Average Cost of Gas or WACOG helps determine how much a customer will pay for each therm of gas. These annual Purchased Gas Adjustment (PGA) changes take effect on November 1 of each year. NW Natural does not profit from the price of gas. The cost of natural gas is a pass-through and is not marked up.

Why are Oregon's rates different from Washington’s?

Each state has different regulators and different rate structures, so the percentage change in gas costs filed each November will be different.

Why are the percentage changes different between the two states?

Since the current rates are different to begin with, the same dollar amount of change will show up as a different percentage. The percentage of change will be bigger if the current per-therm cost is smaller and NW Natural has different regulatory agreements in the two states, which create small differences in the cost per therm of gas.