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Oregon Utility Rates Falling on Robust NatGas Supply

Oregon regulators on Thursday lowered retail natural gas utility rates for residential, commercial and industrial customers that are to take effect Nov. 1.

The three-member Public Utility Commission (PUC) approved rate reductions of 2.1-8.1% for the state’s major investor-owned utilities NW Natural, Avista Utilities and Cascade Natural Gas Co.

"A continued abundance in natural gas supplies" is the primary driver in the rate reduction, said PUC Chair Lisa Hardie.

NW Natural customers will see rates decrease overall by 6.4%, or $41.15 million, with residential rates falling 6.4%, commercial down 7.3% and industrial down 8.1%.

Avista rates will drop overall by 1.7%, or $1.57 million, with residential customers seeing a decline of 2.1%, while commercial rates will be down 2.3% and industrial down 3.8%.

MDU Resources Group's Cascade Natural Gas customers would see an overall decrease of 4.07%, or $2.6 million. Residential rates are falling on average by 5.65%, with commercial rates down 6.46% and industrial customers seeing a 7.4% reduction.

"With these changes, the monthly bill of a typical residential customer using 60 therms monthly will decrease by $2.47, or 5.2%, from $47.69 to $45.22/month," said a PUC spokesperson.

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