New rates took effect November 1, 2020.
Each fall, NW Natural files for rate changes, based primarily on the wholesale cost of natural gas, plus some annual adjustments for ongoing agreements with the commissions. These adjustments vary based on different use patterns by customer class. Variations between Oregon and Washington are caused by differences in rate structures.
Customers can get more information by calling us at 503-226-4211 and asking for the Rates and Regulatory Department.
Oregon customers will have new rates starting November 1 that include the combined effects of a rate case and the annual Purchased Gas Adjustment, both approved by the Public Utility Commission of Oregon.
All total, the average residential customer in Oregon using 53 therms a month will pay about 4% or $2.00 more per month, and small commercial customers using 242 therms per month will pay approximately $10.00 more a month. The effect of rate changes may vary for individual customers depending on their customer category, usage and other factors.
The Purchased Gas Adjustment, which trues-up the prior year’s natural gas purchases and projects the cost of natural gas for the year ahead, will result in about a 4% reduction a month for the average residential customer and small commercial customer.
This commodity cost decrease is offset by about an 8% increase for the average residential customer, and about a 9.5% increase for the average small commercial customer associated with approval of the Oregon rate case ($49 million) to recover operating costs, investments in greater system reliability and resiliency, and the recently passed Oregon corporate activity tax.
For more information on the new rates, please contact the Rates and Regulations at 503-610-7330. For information about flexible payment plans and low-income assistance programs, please call our Customer Contact Center at 503-226-4211. Customers can also call the same phone number for information about flexible payment plans and low-income assistance.
New rates for Washington customers took effect Nov. 1, 2020 and reflect the annual Purchased Gas Adjustment filed with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. They take into account a true-up of the prior year’s natural gas purchases and the cost of natural gas projected for the year ahead.
The new rates for Washington residential customers using an average of 57 therms per month increased by about $4.52 or 8.3% a month. Rates for small-commercial customers using 242 therms per month increased by about $18.08 or 8.5% a month. The adjustments vary based on different use patterns by customer class.
Update: On Dec. 18, 2020, NW Natural asked Washington regulators for a two-year general rate increase. The request is to recover costs associated with investments to strengthen and reinforce the natural gas system, provide necessary system maintenance and operational resiliency, and technology upgrades. If approved as filed, the request would result in an overall revenue increase of 5% or an additional $3.9 million during the first year, and about 6.5% or an additional $5.5 million in the second year.
Under this proposal, a residential customer using 56 therms per month would see an average monthly bill increase of about $2.67 in the first year, and about $3.92 in the second. A small-commercial customer using 236 therms a month would see an average monthly bill increase of about $10 in the first year, and about $14.68 in the second.
Will this proposed increase change my bill this winter? No, the request will not affect customer bills this winter. If approved by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC), new rates will likely take effect Nov. 1, 2021 for the first year, and Nov. 1, 2022 for second. The requested rate change is subject to review by the WUTC, and is not binding on the commission.
How can I learn more or provide input? Copies of the filing are available for inspection at NW Natural’s main office and at nwnatural.com. For more information about the filing, or notice of the time and place of any hearing, contact NW Natural or the commission at:
NW Natural Main Office
250 SW Taylor St.
Portland, Oregon 97204
621 Woodland Square Loop SE
Lacey, Washington 98503
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