March 15, 2011
Docket Number: UG-101644
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Puget Sound Energy’s (PSE) residential natural gas customers will see an increase of about $1.68 a month under a settlement agreement approved by state regulators today.
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) approved a settlement that allows PSE to increase natural gas revenues by an additional $19 million a year, or an overall 1.8 percent, down from the $24 million, or 2.3 percent, the company asked for in its initial request last fall. New rates will go into effect April 1.
For an average residential natural gas customer using 68 therms a month, the increase would be $1.68, for a revised bill of $84.65. The settlement agreement proposes no change to the basic service charge for residential natural gas customers, which would remain at $10 a month. The company had originally asked to increase the fee to $10.62 a month.
The commission has received 254 public comments to date on the PSE natural gas rate increase proposal – 241 opposed and 13 undecided or neutral.
In addition to the UTC staff and the company, five other parties signed the settlement agreement. They include: Seattle Steam Co., Northwest Industrial Gas Users, Nucor Steel, The Energy Project and the Public Counsel Section of the Attorney General’s Office.
Bellevue-based Puget Sound Energy serves nearly 750,000 natural gas customers in parts of Snohomish, King, Pierce, Lewis, Thurston and Kittitas counties.
The UTC is the state agency that regulates private, investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities in Washington. It is the commission’s responsibility to ensure regulated companies provide safe and reliable service to customers at reasonable rates, while allowing them the opportunity to earn a fair profit.
Editor’s note: A copy of the commission’s order is available at http://www.utc.wa.gov.
Staff contact: Marilyn Meehan