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NewsRelease
Natural Gas Prices Fall for Two of Three Oregon Natural Gas Companies
Oct. 31, 2011
2011-15 UG 205, UG 210, UG 214
 
Contacts:  Susan Ackerman, Commissioner, 503 378-6611, John Savage, Commissioner, 503 378-6611, Lori Koho, Natural Gas Program Manager, 503 378-8225,  Bob Valdez, Public Affairs Specialist, 503 378-8962
 
Salem, OR.  The majority of natural gas customers in Oregon will pay a little less to heat their homes and businesses this coming winter. Today the Oregon Public Utility Commission approved rate adjustments for three natural gas companies--Northwest Natural, Avista Utilities and Cascade Natural Gas effective Nov. 1, 2011.
 
“For the third year in a row customers of  Northwest Natural and Cascade Natural Gas will pay a little less for the natural gas they use. Avista Utility customers will see a barely noticeable increase of just one-tenth of one percent,” Lori Koho, Natural Gas Program Manager with Commission said.  “The adjustments vary from company to company due to their different strategies for buying gas. We look at what they are paying once a year and when we can pass along the savings to customers.”
 
• With these changes, the monthly bill of a typical NW Natural residential customer using 55 therms per month will decrease by $1.64, or 2.4%, from $67.47 to $65.83. In January, a typical residential customer’s consumption of 106 therms will result in a billing decrease of $3.15, or 2.5%, from 124.46 to $121.31.
 
• With these changes, the monthly bill of a typical residential customer using 56 therms per month will decrease by $4.03, or 6.55 percent, from $61.61 to $57.58.  In January, a typical residential Cascade customer’s consumption of 118 therms will result in a billing decrease of $8.50, or 6.7 percent, from $126.50 to $118.00. 
 
• With these changes, the monthly bill of a typical Avista residential customer using 48 therms per month will increase by $0.09, or 0.1 percent, from $62.16 to $62.25.  In January, a typical residential customer’s consumption of 94 therms will result in a billing increase of $0.17, or 0.1 percent, from $115.02 to $115.19. 
 
NW Natural serves customers in northwest Oregon. Avista Utilities serves portions of southwest and northeastern Oregon, while Cascade Natural Gas serves Central Oregon in the Bend region and parts of northeast Oregon. These companies serve about 760,886 Oregonians.
 
Oregon’s natural gas comes through pipelines from gas fields in Canada and the Rocky Mountain region.
 
Customers can reduce their bill further:
• Turning down your thermostat can 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 insulating your residence generally results in up to 30 percent savings on a heating bill.
• Clean or change the furnace filter once a month during the heating season.
• Ask for an energy audit by the utility that provides your heating. Customers of NW Natural and Cascade should arrange for an audit through the Energy Trust of Oregon at: http://www.energytrust.org/. Avista Utilities offers traditional energy audits.
• And lastly, contact your gas utility about bill payment assistance.
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