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PUC Approves Rate Decreases For Natural Gas

Natural gas customers in Oregon will pay a little less to heat their homes and businesses this winter.

As Kristian Foden-Vencil reports, the Oregon Public Utility Commission approved rate decreases Wednesday for all three local gas companies.

This is the second year in a row Oregonians will pay less for their natural gas. Utility Commission spokesman, Bob Valdez, says it’s because of the economy.

Bob Valdez: “Of course we all know the economy continues to be relatively weak. That means less demand for natural gas. If there’s less demand, there’s more supply of natural gas.”

For a typical Northwest Natural customer, the savings translates to $1.77  during winter months. Avista customers can expect a drop on their winter bills of $3.30. And in Central Oregon, Cascade customers will pay about $9 a month less in the winter.

Last year, price reductions were much more — up to 20 percent.

This year, the reductions among the three companies average in the three percent range.