PUC decision will bring lower gas prices

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Bills are going down for hundreds of thousands of gas customers in Oregon. The state's Public Utility Commission Monday scaled back Northwest Natural’s rate increase request – from six percent to just over one percent.

Spokeswoman for Northwest Natural, Kim Heiting expressed disappointment. But she says between the rate decision and the cost of natural gas – bills will shrink.

“Overall, natural gas prices are driving rates down, so the effect of the rate change, coupled with lower natural gas costs, mean an overall five percent reduction for the average residential, six percent reduction for average commercial customer, and fifteen percent reduction for average industrial customer in Oregon.”

The changes are effective November 1st.

Authorities in Washington also approved rate changes recently. Residential and commercial rates for Clark County customers are falling eight percent.

Northwest Natural says lower natural gas prices have saved customers in Oregon and Washington $400 million over the last four years.

This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.