Settlement reached for Oregon natural gas rates   

Tags: Avista Utilities, Natural Gas, Rates

Click to view Oregon timeline
As we noted here in August, we’ve requested around a 20 percent decrease in natural gas rates due to the declining cost of wholesale natural gas. This decrease is still pending, but is likely to be approved. Today, we’ve announced an all-party settlement in our request to increase rates (the portion that pays for expenses and capital investments made to our system to ensure the safe, reliable delivery of natural gas). That increase settlement, if approved by the Public Utility Commission of Oregon would increase rates 7.1 percent.

The bottom line: a 13% decrease in rates
The bottom line is that our two requests should result in a 13 percent decrease if approved, since we’ve requested two things: a -20 percent (cost of gas) and a +7.1 percent (cost of service delivery). For an Oregon customer using an average of 52 therms of natural gas per month, the net result should be a $10 cost savings each month. It’s expected that both requests, if approved, will take effect on Nov. 1.

Now, hold on a minute.

Why would we tell customers in August that we’re requesting to lower rates 20 percent due to the cost of wholesale gas, when we were asking for an increase at the same time for a different part of rates? The requests are independent of each other and happen on different timelines, which is certainly a bit confusing. These independent requests, if approved, will both become effective Nov. 1, right when the winter heating season kicks in. The bottom line is that customers are expected to see a 13 percent decrease, or $10 per month savings – the lowest rates since 2004.

Read the news release for a few more about this settlement.

If you have any comments or questions, drop us a line in a comment or e-mail.
Posted by  System Account  on  9/30/2009
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