Gas Price Information

NW Natural annual rate adjustments approved by Oregon and Washington regulators.

Each fall, NW Natural files for rate changes, based primarily on the wholesale cost of natural gas, plus some annual adjustments based on ongoing agreements with the commissions. These adjustments vary based on different usage patterns by residential and commercial customers.

Oregon

On October 28, 2014, the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) approved NW Natural’s rate request for a 1.7 percent residential increase. This means the average homeowner now pays about $1.06 more per month. It also approved a 4.2 percent increase for businesses, which results in $9.54 more per month for the average commercial customer. These rates are effective as of November 1.

Washington

Also, at that time, The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) approved a 6 percent residential increase, which equates to $3.65 more per month for the average homeowner. It also approved a 6.4 percent increase for businesses, which results in $16.14 more per month for the average commercial customer. These rates are effective as of
November 1.

The reason for the different increases in the two states is because of reductions based on previous agreements with Oregon regulators, which offset the gas cost increases collected in Oregon. These are not applicable in Washington.

Natural gas prices

The main reason gas costs have increased is this past winter’s extreme cold weather nationally which caused temporary price spikes, low gas storage levels and higher prices to refill storage.

Even with the small increase in rates in both states, NW Natural customers are still paying less for gas than they did 10 years ago. Industry experts say prices are expected to remain stable for the foreseeable future, due to the large supply of domestic natural gas.*

*“Fueling the Future with Natural Gas: Bringing it Home,” 2014 study by IHS CERA.