21% natural gas rate decrease requested in Oregon   

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Just a few minutes ago, Avista announced that we’ve requested a 21 percent decrease in natural gas rates for our residential customers in Oregon effective Nov. 1. This is great news for customers heading into the winter heating season. If you’ve been reading this blog, this announcement isn’t much of a surprise. We’ve been saying for months that if market conditions continue, a natural gas decrease is likely this fall. Here it is. Read the news release

If approved, this request would give our Oregon customers their lowest natural gas rates since 2004.

Today’s request is tied to the direct cost of wholesale natural gas which makes up about 75 percent of your bill. We don’t mark up the cost of natural gas purchased to meet customer needs. The remaining 25 percent of your bill covers the cost of delivering natural gas – the equipment and people needed to provide safe and reliable delivery of service.

You might recall the Public Utility Commission of Oregon (PUC) is currently reviewing a rate increase request made in June to recover the costs of recent upgrades to our distribution system. If approved, today’s decrease request would likely more than off-set any approved increase. View the details of June’s request. The PUC has until April 2010 (10 months from the original request) to make a decision on the increase request.

Multiple natural gas rate requests can be confusing - no doubt - but the bottom line is that if approved, rates in Oregon will decrease by 21 percent on Nov. 1, before the heating season is in full-swing. The natural gas decrease will more than off-set the pending increase request that we’ve asked for to recover costs for distribution system upgrades.  

If you have any questions about the decrease, drop us a note in the comments section.
 
 
Posted by  System Account  on  8/31/2009
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