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PUC cuts winter natural gas rates

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Oregon’s Public Utility Commission agreed Monday to reduced natural gas rates that give homeowners a little break on their winter heating bills.

PUC officials said the new rates that take effect Nov. 1 will cut the cost of natural gas for all three regulated utilities. The reduced rates reflect changes in natural gas prices across the nation, where the average cost of gas is dropping because of increased supply and a fall in customer demand, according to the PUC.

PUC officials said NW Natural residential rates will drop by about 11 percent, meaning a typical customer using 53 therms a month will see a drop of about $4 a month. Commercial rates should drop by about 12.6 percent. Industrial rates should drop by about 21.1 percent, according to the PUC.

Avista Utilities’ residential rates will drop by about 12.6 percent, meaning a typical homeowner using 46 therms a month could save about $7 a month. Commercial rates will drop by about 16.2 percent. Industrial rates should drop by about 22.3 percent.

Cascade Natural Gas’ residential rates will drop by 6.6 percent, meaning a typical customer using 56 therms a month could save about $4. Commercial rates should drop by about 7.5 percent. Industrial rates should drop by about 13.5 percent.

The PUC approves adjustments to each company's rates annually to reflect the actual cost of natural gas.

NW Natural serves customers in Northwest Oregon. Avista Utilities serves parts of Southwest and Northeastern Oregon. Cascade Natural Gas serves the Bend region and parts of Northeast Oregon.