Cascade Natural Gas customers to pay higher rates starting this month

By on Monday, November 1st, 2021 in Eastern/Southeast Oregon News More Top Stories

BAKER CITY – (Release by Oregon Public Utilities Commission) The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) recently approved an increase in rates for Cascade Natural Gas customers due to the annual purchased gas adjustment – which goes into effect November 1, 2021. Since 2009, Cascade Natural has experienced nine rate decreases and four rate increases due to this purchased gas adjustment.

The PUC approves adjustments annually to the rates of the three regulated natural gas companies, including Cascade Natural Gas, Avista Utilities, 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 revenue increase of $7.4 million for Cascade Natural customers for the PGA annual filing when compared to 2020 company gross revenues. The increase, effective November 1, 2021, is largely due to significant weather-related events and the increase in natural gas prices worldwide. This adjustment is effective November 1, 2021. The result of this decision is an increase in customer rates as indicated below:

  • Residential Customers – The monthly bill of a typical customer using an average of 60 therms per month will increase by $5.33or 10.2 percent, from $52.12 to $57.45.
  • Commercial Customers – The monthly bill of a typical customer using an average of 252 therms per month will increase by $21.96, or 12.5 percent, from $175.35 to $197.31.
  • Industrial Customers – The monthly bill of a typical customer using an average of 1,580 therms per month will increase by $132.28, or 12.9 percent, from $1,026.18 to $1,158.46. 

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s 2021 Winter Fuels Outlook, nearly half of U.S. households that heat primarily with natural gas will spend 30 percent more on average than they spent last winter. 

To increase energy efficiency and save on bills, customers are encouraged to:

  • Turn 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.
  • Update low-efficiency furnaces and water heaters with higher-efficiency models. 
  • Fully insulate homes to realize up to 30 percent savings on a heating bill. 
  • Clean or change the furnace filter once a month during the heating season. 
  • Conduct an online Home Energy Review through the Energy Trust of Oregon.
  • Learn about bill payment assistance programs from Cascade Natural Gas’ customer service team.                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Cascade Natural Gas serves more than 79,000 customers in the Bend region and parts of Northeast Oregon.  

About the PUC
The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) regulates customer rates and services of the state’s investor-owned electric, natural gas and landline 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.