Customers of NW Natural Gas, Avista Utilities and Cascade Natural Gas can expect to pay less for natural gas this coming winter. The new rates go into effect Nov.1, 2012.
The purchased gas adjustment mechanism approved by the Commission today allows Oregon's natural gas utilities to adjust rates, up or down, to reflect changes in the price of natural gas purchased and delivered to customers.
"The surge in natural gas supplies due largely to new drilling techniques is a major factor for falling prices," said Commissioner Stephen Bloom. "This means that Oregonians won't pay as much to heat their homes and run businesses the next 12 months and that is a good thing."
Natural gas utilities do not profit or lose money on the cost of natural gas purchased for customers.
The utilities distribute natural gas to customers but do not produce the fuel. Oregon's supply of natural gas comes primarily from Canada and the Rocky Mountain region.
With these changes, the monthly bill of a typical residential customer using 53 therms per month will decrease by $4.36, or 6.9%, from $63.03 to $58.67. (This adjustment is offset by a just-approved general rate case decision, so customers will see a slightly smaller reduction).