Natural gas price reduction approved

By Deer Park Tribune staff

Deer Park Tribune of Deer Park, Washington

More than a million natural gas customers in Washington will pay less for service thanks to decreases in wholesale natural gas costs.

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission last week approved rate decreases for Puget Sound Energy, Avista Utilities, and Northwest Natural Gas Company.

The average bill for an Avista residential customer in Eastern Washington using 68 therms will fall by 14.9 percent, or about $10.17 a month, for an average monthly bill of $58.03. Headquartered in Spokane.

Avista serves about 150.000 natural gas customers, primarily in Eastern Washington.

Natural gas companies are required to submit Purchased Gas Cost Adjustment (PGA) filings to adjust rates based on the constantly changing cost of natural gas in the wholesale market.

Natural gas companies in Washington are required to file a PGA at least every 15 months. The total cost of gas is passed through to customers, which means that the company does not earn a return on, or lose money on, prudently incurred gas costs.

The utilities distribute natural gas to customers but do not produce their own fuel. About half of Washington's natural gas supplies come from the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia and the other half from Rocky Mountain production sites such as Wyoming.

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