Northwest Natural files for slight rate increase

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Northwest Natural Gas Company has filed its annual rate adjustment with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission that includes a slight rate increase for customers. If approved as filed, the average Washington residential customer who uses 56 therms per month will see about a 1.5 percent increase in rates, or approximately 91 cents per month.

The increase for the average Washington commercial customer who uses 255 therms per month will be about 1.6 percent, or about $3.98 per month.

About 1 percent of the money collected under the WUTC agreement funds energy efficiency programs.

Each fall, NW Natural files for rate changes, based primarily on the wholesale cost of natural gas, plus some annual adjustments based on ongoing agreements with the WUTC. Regulators are expected to rule on the proposed rate changes by the end of October, with the new rates, if approved, taking effect Nov. 1.