SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) recently approved an increase in natural gas rates for Avista Utilities customers due to significant increases in global natural gas prices reflected in the annual purchased gas adjustment and related filings. The increase goes into effect November 1, 2022.
The PUC approves adjustments annually to the rates of the three regulated natural gas companies, including Avista Utilities, Cascade Natural Gas, and NW Natural, to reflect changes in the actual cost of wholesale priced natural gas, known as the purchased gas adjustment (PGA). This allows companies to pass through their actual cost of purchasing gas to customers without a markup on the price.
The PUC recently approved an overall increase in rates of $25.6 million or approximately 20.4 percent for Avista customers due to the PGA and related filings when compared to 2021 company gross revenues. The increase, effective November 1, is largely due to the significant increase in natural gas prices globally.
“We recognize that increasing rates at a time when Oregonians are already dealing with high inflation presents challenges for many customers,” said Megan Decker, PUC Chair. “Unfortunately, global events drive the price for utilities to purchase natural gas. There’s simply no way to avoid these higher prices impacting customers. However, there may be options available to residential customers to help reduce the bottom line impact.”
To increase energy efficiency and save on future natural gas bills, customers are encouraged to view Energy Trust of Oregon’s low-cost and no-cost tips to reduce energy consumption. For information about bill payment assistance options, newly available utility discount programs, and the Comfort Level Billing program that equalizes bill payments across winter and summer months, contact Avista at 800-227-9187 or view information online. Customers may also contact their local Community Action agency to request information on what assistance programs they may be eligible for and how to enroll.
View the impact to each customer type as a result of this decision below:
- Residential Customers – The monthly bill of a typical residential customer using an average of 48 therms per month will increase by $12.53, or 18.4 percent, from $68.17 to $80.70.
- Commercial Customers – The monthly bill of a typical customer using an average of 203 therms per month will increase by $47.08, or 18.9 percent, from $248.72 to $295.76.
- Industrial Customers – The monthly bill of a typical customer using an average of 3,969 therms per month will increase by $919.77, or 36.5 percent, from $2,517.49 to $3,437.26.
Avista Utilities serves nearly 106,000 customers in portions of southwest and northeastern Oregon.