SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) recently approved a decrease in natural gas rates for Avista Utilities customers due to an annual purchased gas adjustment – which goes into effect November 1, 2020.
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 approved an overall decrease of $461,000, or 0.3 percent, for Avista customers for the PGA annual filing when compared to 2019 company gross revenues. This adjustment is effective November 1, 2020. The result of this decision is a decrease in customer rates as indicated below:
- Residential Customers – The monthly bill of a typical customer using an average of 47 therms per month will decrease by $0.19, or 0.3 percent, from $56.40 to $56.21.
- Commercial Customers – The monthly bill of a typical customer using an average of 199 therms per month will decrease by $1.08, or 0.6 percent, from $196.47 to $195.39.
- Industrial Customers – The monthly bill of a typical customer using an average of 4,005 therms per month will decrease by $21.75, or 1.1 percent, from $1,917.05 to $1,895.30.
Avista Utilities has a rate case filed with the PUC seeking additional revenues for non-gas costs. A decision on this filing, which is scheduled for early 2021, will impact customer rates.
To increase energy efficiency and save on bill, customers are encouraged to:
- Turning down thermostats to save up to 3 percent for each degree. A programmable thermostat that reduces heat at night or when no one is home can lower heating bills by 5 to 10 percent.
- Updating low-efficiency furnaces and water heaters with higher-efficiency models.
- Fully insulating homes to realize up to 30 percent savings on a heating bill.
- Cleaning or changing the furnace filter once a month during the heating season.
- Conducting an online Home Energy Review through the Energy Trust of Oregon.
- Asking their natural gas service provider about bill payment assistance programs.
Avista Utilities serves just over 104,000 customers in portions of southwest and northeastern Oregon.
About the PUC
The Public Utility Commission of Oregon (PUC) regulates customer rates and services of the state’s investor-owned electric, natural gas and telephone utilities, as well as select water companies. The PUC’s mission is to ensure Oregon utility customers have access to safe, reliable, and high quality utility services at just and reasonable rates. This is done through robust analysis and independent decision-making conducted in an open and fair process.