PORTLAND, OR--(Marketwired - Oct 28, 2013) - Northwest Natural Gas Company, dba NW Natural (NYSE: NWN), today announced that the Public Utility Commission of Oregon (OPUC) approved a small rate increase for NW Natural gas customers due to slightly higher wholesale natural gas prices. This is the first time the cost of gas has increased in five years.
The OPUC approved a 1.5 percent rate increase or an increase of about $0.91 per month for the average home using 53 therms per month. With a decrease in the Public Purpose Charge and other adjustments based on agreements with the OPUC, the actual increase for residential customers will be 0.8 percent, or about $0.47 more per month.
The OPUC approved a 5.5 percent rate increase or an increase of about $11.74 per month for the average commercial customer using 229 therms per month. With a decrease in the Public Purpose Charge and other adjustments based on agreements with the OPUC the actual increase for the average commercial customer will be about 4.8 percent or about $10.54 a month.
"The market looks fairly stable going forward. At this point, we expect minor year-to-year adjustments in natural gas prices but no major swings for the immediate future," said Randy Friedman, NW Natural director of gas supply.
Each year, NW Natural and other local gas utilities adjust their rates to reflect changes in wholesale natural gas prices. The new rates reflect gas purchases for the year beginning Nov. 1. Customers will see the change on their bills starting in November.
About NW Natural
NW Natural (NYSE: NWN) is headquartered in Portland, Ore., and provides natural gas service to about 689,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington. It is the largest independent natural gas utility in the Pacific Northwest. Additional information is available at www.nwnatural.com.