Globally, energy prices are on the rise. For utility customers in Oregon, that means new rates are taking effect during a time of energy market disruption and inflationary pressure.
“We recognize the hardship that customers are facing right now when the costs of everyday goods – from the grocery store to the gas pump – are going up,” said David Anderson, NW Natural President and CEO. “That’s why we worked with our regulator and stakeholders to help our residential customers better manage their heating costs this winter by offering a temporary bill credit.”
A new delayed payment program with temporary bill credits for NW Natural’s residential customers in Oregon, beginning November 1, 2022, will defer some of the rate impact to warmer months when customers typically see lower bills.
With temporary bill credits in place from November 1 through March 14, the average residential customer1 will see an increase of about $14 per month. When temporary bill credits expire, the average residential customer2 will see an increase of about $14 per month from March 15 through October 31. Rates for the average small-commercial customer3 will be about $56 more a month.
Steps to Maximize Affordability
The new rates for NW Natural customers in Oregon include the combined effects of the annual Purchased Gas Adjustment and a general rate case, recently approved by the Oregon Public Utility Commission.
Despite this period of extraordinary market conditions, NW Natural customers will still be paying less than they did 15 years ago for their natural gas bills. That’s because NW Natural has taken several steps to maximize affordability, such as locking in gas purchases at lower rates, smart investments in energy storage, and energy efficiency measures.
More Ways to Save This Winter
Customers can act now to see additional savings this winter. NW Natural recommends the following three additional ways to help manage bills and save energy:
- Equal Pay payment plans. NW Natural will divide annual gas usage into 11 equal monthly payments so customers can count on predictable bills and better manage their household budget.
- Low-cost energy-saving improvements. For example, customers can save up to 20% by sealing air leaks and adding insulation. Or set their water heater’s temperature at 120 degrees – each 10-degree reduction in water temperature can save 3-5% in energy costs.
- A new income-qualified bill discount program in Oregon (available beginning November 1). NW Natural is offering bill discounts between 15-40% to reduce the energy burden for customers whose household income is below 60% of the state’s median income level.
NW Natural also offers several payment plans and other payment assistance options. More information is available at nwnatural.com.
Source: NW Natural