Customers of Northwest Natural, the gas company, will get a credit on their bills for June, the company announced Wednesday.
An average Oregon residential customer that uses 91 therms per month from November through March can expect to receive a one-time bill credit of approximately $37. An average Oregon commercial customer that uses 382 therms per month during that same time period can expect to receive a credit of approximately $153.
The state Public Utility Commission has approved the $35 million credit to the company’s Oregon customers as a result of lower wholesale natural gas costs.
“The natural gas prices we’ve secured in the last several months are substantially lower than what is currently set in our rates. The continued decline in natural gas prices has been dramatic, and we’re pleased to be able to get those savings back to customers earlier than our annual gas cost adjustment this fall,” said Gregg Kantor, NW Natural president and CEO.
The refunds are based on gas cost savings accumulated from Nov. 1, 2011, through March 31, 2012, and will show up as a credit to residential, commercial and industrial sales customers on their June bills. This bill credit will be based on each customer’s actual gas usage during those five months.
Additionally, the PUC approved a request to provide NW Natural’s Oregon customers with about a $9 million interstate storage credit from efficient pipeline capacity management and effective use of its underground storage facility in Mist.
As a result, in June an average Oregon residential customer can expect to receive a bill credit of about $10, and an average commercial customer can expect to receive a bill credit of about $45.
In the last 10 years, savings provided back to customers from NW Natural’s storage operations near Mist have totaled about $71 million.