Puget Sound Energy residential natural gas customers will see lower energy bills this winter after rates were adjusted lower to reflect the decreased cost of wholesale natural gas.
On Oct. 19, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission approved requests from PSE that, combined with lower natural gas costs, allowed the power company to reduce rates by 9.2 percent for residential customers. A press release from PSE said it would reduce the average bill by just over $6, bringing the total monthly bill to around $59. It is the lowest rates the utility has provided since 2004.
“It sort of reflects what the market for natural gas is,” said PSE spokesperson Andrew Padula. “…Because of that, we’re able to pass the savings on to our customers.”
PSE conducts rate adjustments multiple times a year, Padula said.
Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission spokesperson Kate Griffith said rate adjustments must be approved by her office. Rate decreases were also approved for the Avista Corporation which serves the Spokane area, Cascade Natural Gas which serves cities statewide including Bellingham, Bremerton and Yakima. NW Natural also received a rate decrease. The company serves southwest Washington.
PSE provides natural gas service to more than 750,000 customers in King, Pierce, Snohomish, Kittitas, Lewis and Thurston counties.