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.
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a gas main in Salem ($21.3 million), three new repair dispatch centers ($36.5 million), and replacing NW Natural’s outdated accounting system ($63.7 million).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.