TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - NW Natural is asking the state Public Utility Commission to cut its rates for residential and commercial customers beginning Nov. 1.NW Natural has filed for a rate reduction with the Public Utility Commission of Oregon.

If approved the new lower rates will take effect for residential and commercial customers on Nov. 1.

NW Natural is asking for a 2.6 percent rate reduction for residential customers and 1.6 percent drop for commercial. A typical residential customer using an average of 50 therms a month would pay about $1.40 less each month. A typical commercial customer using 233 therms per month would pay $3.60 less a month.

"Our customers are paying less for their natural gas today than they did 15 years ago," said David H. Anderson, NW Natural president and chief executive officer.

The rate reduction comes after NW Natural returned $16.8 million to Oregon customers in June because gas prices were lower than expected since rates took effect Nov. 1, 2015. The average residential customer received a bill credit of about $16. The average small commercial customer's credit was $75.

The company also returned about $9.4 million to customers in June because of efficient use of natural gas storage and pipeline facilities. It was the 14th consecutive year customers received a June bill credit for that purpose, according to the company.

NW Natural has about 718,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

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