PSE Seeks to Lower Natural Gas Rates by 7.7 Percent
Lower Gas-Supply Costs Will Ease Winter Heating Bills
Lower natural gas rates in time for winter heating season, effective Nov. 1
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission on Oct. 25 approved Puget Sound Energy’s request to lower natural gas rates due to a decrease in wholesale natural gas costs. A residential customer using 68 therms would pay $5.82 less per month for an average monthly bill of $76.59. The overall average natural gas rate decrease for all groups of PSE customers is 7.7 percent.
Read the UTC's press release.
BELLEVUE, Wash. (Sept. 26, 2012) — Puget Sound Energy today filed a request with Washington state regulators to decrease natural gas rates for the upcoming winter season by an overall 7.7 percent, effective Nov. 1, 2012.
If approved by the Utilities and Transportation Commission, the proposed Purchased Gas Adjustment (PGA) decrease will lower a typical household’s natural gas bill (based on 68 therms of average monthly usage over a 12-month period) by 7.1 percent, or $5.82, to $76.59. That is about what PSE customers were paying in 2009. Commercial rates will drop by about 8 percent.
An abundant domestic supply of natural gas has lowered wholesale natural gas prices, which reached a 10-year low earlier this year. With today’s energy prices, heating a home with oil is more than three times more expensive than with natural gas. Electric heating in the Puget Sound region is about 1.5 to 2 times more costly than natural gas heat.
The PGA is a UTC-approved mechanism that allows Washington state’s natural gas utilities to periodically adjust rates, up or down, to reflect changes in the price of the natural gas supplies that utilities purchase and deliver to customers. PSE does not financially profit or lose on the cost of natural gas purchased for customers.
PSE’s request to lower natural gas bills is on the heels of a pending request with state regulators to increase the amount of the funding fee for the utility’s low-income assistance program. If approved, the monthly fee will increase by 21 cents for a typical residential electric customer and 9 cents for a typical residential natural gas customer. The new fee would provide more than $15.5 million annually in bill-payment assistance grants to more than 31,000 households under PSE HELP (Home Energy Lifeline Program).
About Puget Sound Energy
Washington state’s oldest local energy company, Puget Sound Energy serves 1.1 million electric customers and more than 750,000 natural gas customers in 11 counties. A subsidiary of Puget Energy, PSE meets the energy needs of its customers, in part, through cost-effective energy efficiency, procurement of sustainable energy resources, and far-sighted investment in energy-delivery infrastructure. PSE employees are dedicated to providing great customer service that is safe, dependable and efficient. For more information, visit www.PSE.com.
Roger Thompson, 1-888-831-7250