Gas Price Information

NW Natural rates fall for 3rd year in a row

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 use patterns by residential and commercial customers. Variations between Oregon and Washington are caused by differences in rate structures.

Oregon

On Sept. 15 2017, NW Natural filed with the Public Utility Commission of Oregon (PUC) for a 6.4% reduction in residential rates and a 7.3% reduction in small commercial rates. If approved, beginning Nov. 1, 2017, the average homeowner will save $3.43 a month, and the average small commercial customer will save about $15.62 every month.

Natural gas prices – and consequently NW Natural’s rates – are expected to remain low during the Nov. 2017-Oct. 2018 heating year. The cost of gas continues to be lower than it was 15 years ago.

The rate decrease follows a credit on Oregon customers’ June bills. NW Natural returned $11.7 million to Oregon customers – an average of $12 a customer. The credits resulted from efficient pipeline capacity management and effective use of the company's underground natural gas storage facility at Mist, Oregon, during 2016.

Washington

On Sept. 12, 2017, NW Natural filed with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) for a 3.1% reduction in residential rates, and a 3.4% reduction in small-commercial rates. If approved by regulators, beginning Nov. 1, 2017, the average homeowner will save about $1.60 a month, and the average small-commercial customer will save $7.52 every month.

What’s the reason for lower rates?
Three filings contribute to a drop in rates, including:

  • Purchased Gas Adjustment (PGA) – A $1.60 reduction on the average monthly residential bill and a $7.49 reduction on the average small-commercial bill. The filing trues up differences between the estimated and actual cost of natural gas, and it establishes the customer costs for natural gas from Nov. 1, 2017 - Oct. 31, 2018. 
  • Energy efficiency programs – A 0.2% increase for residential customers: 10 cent increase on monthly residential bills and 38 cent increase on small-commercial bills for energy efficiency programs that provide effective economic means for conserving natural gas.
  • Low income assistance – A 0.2% reduction for residential customers: 10 cent increase on residential bills and 42 cent increase on small-commercial bills for programs that help low-income residential customers install energy efficiency improvements and stay warm during the winter.

  Current Billing Rate  Proposed Reduction  Proposed Billing Rate  % Reduction Billed Revenue 
Residential Schedule 2  $0.83247  $0.03023  $0.80224  3.1% 
Commercial Schedule 3  $0.83216  $0.03029  $0.80187  3.4% 

NW Natural’s filings are requests that are subject to public review and a decision by the WUTC. Customers may submit comments on the proposed changes at www.utc.wa.gov, comments@utc.wa.gov, 1-888-333-9882, or WUTC, PO Box 47250, Olympia, WA 98504-7250. Customers can also request more information, review the filing, and find out about open meetings. The filings can also be reviewed at www.utc.wa.gov “Docket Search.”