What’s up or down with natural gas prices in Oregon   

Tags: Avista Utilities, Oregon, Natural Gas, Rates


Does it seem like Avista is in the news every week about some type of rate change? Earlier this month we told you about the settlement agreement in the Washington electric and natural gas rate requests we filed last March, and the end of July we told you about the settlement agreement in the Idaho cases we also filed in March.

Today a different type of Avista rate request is in the news – the annual Purchase Gas Cost Adjustment (PGA) that we filed with the public utility commission in Oregon. Avista and other natural gas utilities in the Northwest typically file these requests each fall to true-up the difference between the costs of wholesale natural gas purchased to serve customers with the amount included in rates. PGAs have no impact on company earnings, since the cost of the natural gas is passed through to customers without being marked up.

Wholesale natural gas prices go up or down depending on market conditions, so some years the PGA may mean a rate increase to customers and some years a decrease in rates. Last year natural prices decreased by 21 percent for our Oregon customers and by about 30 percent for our Washington and Idaho customers. Robust natural gas supplies and lower demand caused the steep decline in wholesale natural gas prices that we passed on to our customers.

Today we requested to decrease natural gas prices for our Oregon customers by another 2.1 percent, effective on November 1. Since Avista is a regulated utility, any change in customer rates, including a decrease, must be thoroughly reviewed and approved by the state’s utility commission.

We’d like to hear what you think about natural gas prices or any other topic that’s on your mind. Post a comment in the block below or send us an email at conversation@avistautilities.com.
 
Posted by  System Account  on  8/31/2010
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