Natural gas prices increase today locally
More than 1.2 million natural gas customers in Washington will pay more for service beginning today due to the increase in wholesale natural gas costs.
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission approved increases for the state’s four natural gas utility companies.
The companies submit Purchased Gas Cost Adjustment filings at least every 15 months to adjust rates for the constantly changing cost of natural gas in the wholesale market. The total cost of gas is passed through to customers. This means that the company does not earn or lose any money on the new cost of gas.
Locally, Cascade Natural Gas’s average customer using 54 thermal units a month will pay 18% more, an increase of $8.50, for a total of almost $54. Part of this increase is due to the company ending a year-long refund, which had reduced bills during the past 12 months. The refund was due to past overcollection by Cascade.
The utilities distribute natural gas to customers but do not produce their own fuel. About half of Washington’s natural gas supplies come from Alberta and British Columbia and the other half from production sites such as Wyoming.
Cascade Natural Gas Corp. serves almost 200,000 residential and business customers in 65 communities throughout the state, including Aberdeen.
The three-member state commission regulates the private, investor-owned natural gas utilities in Washington. It is the commission’s responsibility to ensure companies provide safe and reliable service to customers at reasonable rates, while allowing them the opportunity to earn a fair profit.