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Rates for Avista natural gas customers will increase November 1

The Oregon Public Utility Commission approved a rate increase for Avista Utilities customers to adjust for purchase price.

Posted: Oct 27, 2021 3:04 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Customers of Avista Utilities in Oregon will see their rates increase beginning November 1, the Oregon Public Utilities Commission (PUC) announced on Wednesday due to an annual purchased gas adjustment.

The PUC allows for annual adjustments to the three regulated natural gas companies operating in Oregon, which includes Avista, Cascade Natural Gas, and NW Natural, to reflect the change in the wholesale price of natural gas. Since 2007, the PUC said, Avista has had 12 rate decreases and three rate increases for this reason.

"This allows companies to pass through their actual cost of purchasing gas to customers without a markup on the price," the PUC said.

The overall revenue increase amounts to $10.5 million for Avista customers compared to the company's 2020 gross revenues. The PUC said that the increase is largely due to major weather-related events and a worldwide increase in natural gas prices.

Here's how the rate increase could impact your bill:

  • Residential Customers - The monthly bill of a typical residential customer using an average of 48 therms per month will increase by $5.19, or 8.4 percent, from $61.78 to $66.97.
  • Commercial Customers - The monthly bill of a typical customer using an average of 202 therms per month will increase by $27.80, or 12.9 percent, from $215.29 to $243.09.
  • Industrial Customers - The monthly bill of a typical customer using an average of 4,003 therms per month will increase by $550.89, or 28.5 percent, from $1,993.45 to $2,484.34.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s 2021 Winter Fuels Outlook, nearly half of U.S. households that heat primarily with natural gas will spend 30 percent more on average than they spent last winter.

On top of this annual purchased gas adjustment, the PUC said that Avista recently filed with the PUC seeking additional revenues for "non-gas costs." A decision is expected in mid-2022, and the PUC said it will further impact customer rates.

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