Puget Sound Energy (PSE) natural gas customers could see lower heating bills this winter, after a decrease in wholesale natural gas costs, said the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission.
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) today approved requests by four natural gas companies to reduce rates for customers beginning Nov. 1, according to the state commission. The change could affect 2 million natural gas customers statewide, the commission reported.
PSE is Mercer Island's sole provider of electricity and natural gas utilities.
Bellevue-based Puget Sound Energy’s average Western Washington residential natural gas customer using 68 therms a month will realize a drop of 7.1 percent, or $5.82, to $76.59, according to the UTC.
Puget Sound Energy serves more than 785,000 natural gas customers in parts of Snohomish, King, Pierce, Lewis, Thurston and Kittitas counties.
Natural gas companies in Washington are required to adjust rates periodically to reflect changes in wholesale prices. More than half to about two-thirds of a customer’s monthly bill is attributable to the cost of natural gas on which the company is not allowed to earn a profit. The remaining 45 percent covers the cost of delivering the natural gas.
The three-member commission is the state agency in charge of regulating the 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.
-- Source, Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission