This week, Oregon regulators approved a total 25% rate increase for NW Natural customers.
The Oregon Citizens’ Utility Board (Oregon CUB) said the increase, which is the result of two rate hikes, is due to a rise in gas commodity costs.
Starting Nov. 1, Oregon customers will see a 14% increase in their NW Natural bills, and further increases will be implemented after the winter heating season.
NW Natural made an agreement with Oregon CUB to stagger the increases.
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The Oregon Public Utility Commission approved the rise in rates after NW Natural requested the change earlier this year. NW Natural originally asked for a nearly $82 million rate raise, and the Commission approved $62.7 million on Monday.
Oregon CUB pushed back against increase in profit margins, bonuses for top executives, increased advertising dollars, and customer-funded subsidies for expanding the gas system.
The increase will go toward replacing a gas main in Salem ($21.3 million), three new repair dispatch centers ($36.5 million), and replacing NW Natural’s outdated accounting system ($63.7 million).
On Tuesday, the Commission also approved the second bill increase for NW Natural, $83 million, which was related to the increase of methane gas costs on the market.