NW Natural gas rates may soon fall again

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Homes and businesses linked up with NW Natural may see some money saved on their gas bill soon.

The Portland-based utility has once again requested a rate drop through the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission. It is the third consecutive year the company, which serves around 730,000 customers, has asked for the reduction.

If approved, rates for residences would be lowered 3.1 percent, and small-commercial rates by 3.4 percent. For the average house who uses about 53 therms a month, that drop would amount to $1.60 saved, the company said. Businesses that use on average 248 therms could save about $7.52 per month.

The WUTC will issue a final decision by the end of October, NW Natural said.

Utility companies make these requests every year and predicate them based on expected gas prices for the next 12 months. NW Natural said natural gas is expected to be in “abundant” supply.

David H. Anderson, president and CEO, said natural gas prices are cheaper today than they were 15 years ago.

“We’re proud to pass cost savings on to our customers while providing the same high-quality service, reliability and safety they expect,” he said.

NWN Natural, traded on the New York Stock Exchange as NWN, closed Tuesday at $66.50 per share, down $1.20.