Northwest Natural customers to get refund

Falling gas prices trigger one-time credit on June bills

By Aaron Corvin, Columbian port & economy reporter

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Clark County customers of Portland-based Northwest Natural Gas Co. will receive a refund in June thanks to the decline in natural gas prices in the U.S.

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission on Thursday approved the company's request to issue a one-time credit to its customers on their June utility bills.

In Clark County, Northwest Natural has 64,958 residential customers and 5,594 commercial customers. Under the deal approved by state regulators, the typical residential customer who uses 97 therms a month from November through March will receive a credit of $44 next month. Commercial customers who use 394 therms a month over the same five-month period will receive a $179 refund.

Natural gas companies periodically adjust rates to reflect changes in wholesale prices.

In total, state regulators approved a $4 million credit to residential, commercial and industrial customers of Northwest Natural in Washington state.

The company provides natural gas to about 672,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

The three-member Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission regulates the private, investor-owned natural gas utilities in Washington state.

Aaron Corvin: http://twitter.com/col_econ;http://on.fb.me/AaronCorvin; 360-735-4518; aaron.corvin@columbian.com