NW Natural gas rates decrease Nov. 1

A typical Salem home heated with natural gas will pay about $8 less per month starting in November after regulators approved a rate decrease for NW Natural.

The state Public Utility Commission announced Thursday it had approved a 7.4% rate decrease for the gas utility, which supplies the Salem area. The overall revenue decrease is $63.2 million and comes because of falling natural gas prices.

The decrease takes effect Nov. 1.

“During peak periods of natural gas consumption last year, NW Natural’s storage capabilities moderated prices for customers, enabling the company to purchase natural gas at times of lower wholesale prices. This, combined with the reduction of natural gas prices expected this next year, means more money in the pockets of customers,” said Megan Decker, commission chair, in a statement. 

Residential customers using an average amount of gas, 56 therms, would pay $80.53 monthly, down from $88.46, the commission said. That’s a rate decrease of about 8%.

Small commercial customers will see an 8% rate decrease, while industrial customers will pay 11% less.

NW Natural told regulators it intends to file for a rate increase in 2024 because of the cost of purchasing investments in greenhouse gas reductions required by the state’s Climate Protection Program.

Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.

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Rachel Alexander is Salem Reporter’s managing editor. She joined Salem Reporter when it was founded in 2018 and covers city news, education, nonprofits and a little bit of everything else. She’s been a journalist in Oregon and Washington for a decade. Outside of work, she’s a skater and board member with Salem’s Cherry City Roller Derby and can often be found with her nose buried in a book.