Cascade Natural Gas customers will see their bills go up starting next week. The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) announced that the increases will take effect Nov. 1.
- Residential Customers – The monthly bill of a typical customer using an average of 65 therms per month will increase by $2.56 or 3.22 percent, from $79.45 to $82.01.
- Commercial Customers – The monthly bill of a typical customer using an average of 289 therms per month will increase by $12.73, or 4.3 percent, from $296.57 to $309.03.
- Industrial Customers – The monthly bill of a typical customer using an average of 1,779 therms per month will increase by $107.40, or 6.1 percent, from $1,761.79 to $1,869.18.
Here is more from the PUC
The PUC approves adjustments annually to the rates of the three regulated natural gas companies, including Cascade Natural Gas, Avista Utilities, and NW Natural, to reflect changes in the actual cost of wholesale priced natural gas. This annual adjustment, known as the purchased gas adjustment (PGA), allows companies to pass through their actual cost of purchasing gas to customers without a markup on the price.
The PUC recently approved an overall revenue increase of nearly $4 million or approximately 4.0 percent combined for all customers types due to the PGA and related filings when compared to 2022 company gross revenues. This increase, effective November 1, is largely due to the under-forecast of natural gas supply costs and resulting under-collection of revenues from customers last year. Last year’s under-forecast is explained by the company’s limited amount of natural gas storage, which increases the company’s exposure to high gas prices during peak cold weather and reduces the company’s ability to maximize purchases of wholesale natural gas during times when costs are lower.
“We recognize that increasing rates at any time presents challenges for customers,” said Megan Decker, PUC Chair. “In addition to under-collecting from customers last year, the increase is also impacted by regional capacity constraints that keep the utility exposed to fluctuations in the cost of wholesale gas and a lack of storage to smooth the price volatility those constraints generate. We encourage customers to contact their service provider to learn about options to help reduce the bill impact of this rate increase, including weatherization.”
To increase energy efficiency and save on future bills, review Energy Trust of Oregon’s current incentives and opportunities, including income-qualified offers and learn more about low-cost and no-cost tips to reduce energy consumption. For information about bill payment assistance options, help with past due bills, available utility discount programs, weatherization, and the Budget Pay Program that equalizes bill payments across winter and summer months, contact Cascade Natural Gas at 888-522-1130 or view information online. Customers may also contact their local Community Action agency to request information on what assistance programs they may be eligible for and how to enroll.
Cascade Natural Gas serves more than 80,000 customers in the Bend region and parts of Northeast Oregon.