Oregon WARM FAQ

Find the answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding WARM.

WARM (Weather Adjusted Rate Mechanism) is NW Natural's default billing method that adjusts Oregon customers' bills for the December 1 through May 15 heating season.

How do I know if I am in WARM?

Look for a WARM message on your bill. You can also call us at 800-422-4012 and ask to speak with a customer service representative.

How will WARM affect my winter bills?

The impact of WARM on your bill will vary from month to month, and from one winter to the next, depending on weather conditions.

For the typical customer who uses gas space heating full time during the WARM period from December 1-May 15, the billing rate for a colder-than-average billing month will be lower than it would have been without WARM. The billing rate for a warmer-than-average billing month will be higher than it would have been. If a customer has zero gas use during any given winter month, there will be no WARM adjustment on that bill.

Is there a limit on how much WARM will affect my bill?

There are limits on the amount that WARM can affect your monthly bill. During the WARM period, a monthly residential bill cannot increase or decrease more than $12 or 25 percent, whichever is less. (For commercial customers, the monthly bill impact is $35 or 25 percent.)

How will WARM affect my summer bills?

WARM will not affect your summer bills because the mechanism does not apply from May 16 until the WARM period begins December 1.

Why is WARM the default billing method?

NW Natural covers most of its operating costs through revenues from gas use charges. Without WARM, NW Natural could over-collect revenues in a colder-than-average winter because gas use typically increases. And it could under-collect revenues in a warmer-than-average winter when gas use typically decreases. WARM allows NW Natural to collect the revenues that the Public Utility Commission of Oregon (OPUC) has ruled are necessary to serve customers.

Why is WARM optional?

WARM is optional so that customers who do not use natural gas full time for space heating, or customers who simply prefer to pay the standard billing rate throughout the year, have a choice. In many states, a weather adjustment mechanism is mandatory and is simply part of the utility’s normal rate structure.

Is WARM the right choice for me?

If you do not use gas for space heating at all or use very little during the winter months, you should consider opting out of WARM because your gas use likely will not vary much due to changes in weather.

Can I see how WARM affects my current monthly bill?

Yes. Please visit this page. This will show you what your most recent bill would be with and without WARM. You can also request billing information for past December-May billing periods to see how weather affected your bill under both the WARM opt-in and opt-out options.

How can I opt out of WARM?

See the table in this brochure to determine when you may change your status and when the change will become effective. Then visit this page or call 800-422-4012 to opt out.

If I opt out, can I opt in later?

Yes, you can return to WARM for the next heating season. To return to WARM for the coming heating season you must contact us before Sept. 30. If you make your selection after Sept. 30, your status in WARM will become effective the following heating season.

What is average weather?

Average weather is calculated for each day of the WARM period, based on the 25-year average temperature for that day. The 25-year average used for the WARM calculation comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and is for the years 1986-2010.

If I am on Equal Pay, how will WARM affect me?

Equal Pay operates the same way, whether or not you are in WARM. Your Equal Pay amount may be adjusted during your plan year, if necessary, to bring your account into better balance by the adjustment month.