Docket Number: UG-200994, UG-200995, UG-200996, UG-210085
UTC approves full multi-party settlement
LACEY, Wash. - State regulators approved a full multi-party settlement increasing Northwest Natural Gas customer rates over the next two years.
A decrease from the company’s original request, Northwest Natural’s annual gas revenues will increase by $5 million, or 5.09%, beginning Nov. 1.
An average residential customer using 57 therms will see an increase of $2.89, for a monthly bill of $61.10.
Then, on Nov. 1, 2022, Northwest Natural’s gas revenues will increase by up to $3 million, or 3.37%. This is also a decrease from the company’s original request.
An average residential customer using 57 therms will see an increase of $2.06 in November 2022, for a monthly bill of $63.16.
The year two revenue increase will be based on demonstrated costs related to eight capital projects capped at a total of $3 million. The company can include any costs exceeding the $3 million in a future rate case for consideration.
The settlement resolved four requests made by the company including: costs of capital projects and costs of software upgrades, deferring costs for major information technology upgrades, and establishing an advisory group and reporting requirements for the company’s Gas Residential Energy Assistance Tariff Program, which provides assistance funds to low-income customers.
The commission received one public comment opposed to the rate increase.
Parties to the settlement include UTC staff, Northwest Natural, The Energy Project, and the Alliance of Western Energy Consumers. The Public Counsel Unit of the Attorney General’s Office, which represents residential and small business utility customers in UTC rate proceedings, neither signed the agreement nor opposed it.
Portland-based NW Natural provides natural gas service to about 84,200 residential, commercial, and industrial customers in Southwest Washington.
The UTC is the state agency that regulates private, investor-owned electric and 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.