State approves rate decrease for Northwest Natural Gas customers
Decline in wholesale natural gas prices allows one-time bill credit next month
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington customers of Northwest Natural Gas Co. (NWNG) will receive a refund next month due to the fall in wholesale market prices, state regulators announced today.
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) approved the company’s request to issue a one-time credit to NWNG natural gas customers on their June utility bills. A sharp decline in wholesale natural gas prices prompted the $4 million credit to Washington residential, commercial and industrial customers.
The typical NWNG residential customer who uses 97 therms a month from November through March will receive a one-time credit of approximately $44 on the June bill. Commercial customers who use 394 therms a month over the same five-month period will be issued a $179 refund next month. Customer refunds are based on actual usage.
Natural gas companies adjust rates periodically to reflect changes in wholesale prices. More than half of NWNG customer’s monthly bill is attributable to the cost of natural gas on which the company is not allowed to collect a profit.
Headquartered in Portland, Ore., NWNG serves about 70,000 residential and commercial customers in Clark, Skamania and Klickitat counties in Washington state.
The three-member state commission regulates the private, investor-owned natural gas utilities in Washington. It is the commission’s responsibility to ensure regulated companies provide safe and reliable service to customers at reasonable rates, while allowing them the opportunity to earn a fair profit.