NW Natural Celebrates 160 Years of Serving Customers

Media contact: media@nwnatural.com; 503-818-9845 (pager)


January 7, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. —  Natural gas utility NW Natural turned 160 years old today, making it one of the oldest companies in Oregon. Officers from NW Natural and its parent company Northwest Natural Holding Company (NYSE: NWN) will commemorate this milestone by ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange today.
NW Natural was founded on January 7, 1859, five weeks before Oregon became the union’s 33rd state, when the territorial government gave founders Herman C. Leonard and John Green a perpetual franchise to provide natural gas service. 
Today, the company serves about two million people through more than 740,000 meters in Oregon and Southwest Washington with 1,200 employees and one of the most modern pipeline systems in the nation. 
“We have a long history serving customers in the Pacific Northwest, and it’s why our tagline ‘We Grew Up Here’ has such meaning,” said David H. Anderson, president and CEO of NW Natural. “Every day our employees are committed to delivering an affordable, efficient product to our customers safely and with excellent customer service.” 
Our utility is in more than 140 communities, and NW Natural Holdings’ shareholders give nearly $1 million from its Corporate Philanthropy Fund to help children and families in need each year. 
“NW Natural is a longstanding local business that truly makes a difference in our community,” said Andrew Hoan, president and CEO of Portland Business Alliance. “From donating to important causes to providing high-quality jobs, the company makes the cities it serves stronger.”
NW Natural's history
  • 1860s - Lighting the streets of a booming frontier
  • 1950s - Expansion of natural gas to homes
  • 1960s - Rapid growth throughout the Northwest
  • 2002 - Leads in rate decoupling
  • 2007 - First carbon offset program
  • 2015 - Finished replacing all cast iron and bare steel pipes with modern materials
  • 2018 - Best in The West in customer satisfaction, six years running
  • Today - Leads with gas utility carbon savings goal
  • Next - Expanding into the water business

NW Natural has a long history of creating what’s next.
NW Natural has evolved its products and services over the years and has often been credited for leading the industry with innovative programs, such as decoupling in 2002 (when the company voluntarily came up with a way to make sure it doesn’t make more money if customers use more energy) and Smart Energy in 2007 (the first carbon offset program offered to customers by a gas utility). And we are one of only a few publicly held companies on the NYSE to increase dividends to our shareholders for 63 consecutive years. 

“Over time, the company has been able to anticipate the challenges facing our communities and evolve to provide forward-thinking solutions for our customers,” added Anderson. “Now, with our low carbon pathway, we will be able to use renewable natural gas to help address today’s climate issues.” 
To read more about the company’s low carbon goal and plans, visit www.lesswecan.com. More about the company’s history can be found here.
About NW Natural

NW Natural provides natural gas service to approximately two million people in more than 140 communities through 740,000 meters in Oregon and Southwest Washington with one of the most modern pipeline systems in the nation. It consistently leads the industry with high J.D. Power & Associates customer satisfaction scores. 
NW Natural is a subsidiary of Northwest Natural Holding Company, (NYSE: NWN) (NW Natural Holdings), which is headquartered in Portland, Oregon and owns NW Natural, NW Natural Water Company, and other business interests and activities. 
NW Natural is currently constructing a 2.5 Bcf regulated gas storage expansion of its 16 Bcf facility in Oregon to support renewables. NW Natural Holdings' subsidiaries own and operate 31 Bcf of underground gas storage capacity. 
NW Natural Water provides water distribution service to more than 22,000 people through 7,350 connections. To date, NW Natural Water has acquired four water distribution systems with one additional acquisition pending. Upon closing the transaction, cumulatively, NW Natural Water will serve nearly 42,000 people through 16,750 connections in the Pacific Northwest with total investments of approximately $67 million.