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NW Natural customers will see rate increase

NW Natural cited the high price of gas as the reason for the jump in rates.

PORTLAND, Ore. — NW Natural is increasing rates in a move approved by the Oregon Public Utility Commission. Thousands upon thousands of people will be impacted, seeing as NW Natural provides natural gas to more than two million people across Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Global supply issues and higher gas prices are to blame for the rate hike, the utility says.

NW Natural said it realizes the hike is coming at a time when bills are already typically higher as the weather gets colder, and the company will be offering a delayed payment program with temporary bill credits. This is for residential customers in Oregon, not industrial or commercial customers.

RELATED: NW Natural requesting 11% rate hike

"We recognize the hardship that customers are facing right now when the costs of everyday goods – from the grocery store to the gas pump – are going up,” said David Anderson, NW Natural President and CEO, in a statement. “That’s why we worked with our regulator and stakeholders to help our residential customers better manage their heating costs this winter by offering a temporary bill credit.”

The rate hike will be spread out over a year. According to NW Natural, residential customers can expect to see an increase of $14 per month between November 1, 2022 and October 31, 2023. 

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"So many people are living basically paycheck to paycheck," said Brian Allbritton, Executive Director of Oregon Energy Fund. "An increase of $14 a month, especially if you're on a fixed income, makes a huge difference and it puts people in the position of having to make a choice on where they won't spend money."

Oregon Energy Fund is an organization that helps people facing utility disconnect. Anyone who needs utility assistance, or wants to donate, is encouraged to visit the organization's website.

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