PSE files for 11 percent increase in natural gas rates

Puget Sound Energy has filed with the Washington state Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) a request to pass through the higher costs the utility pays for purchasing natural gas supplies.

The Purchased Gas Adjustment (PGA) increase, which PSE has asked to take effect Oct. 1, would raise Puget Sound Energy natural gas bills by 11.1 percent overall, across all groups of customers. For households using the year-round average of 68 therms of natural gas per month, bills would increase 10.3 percent, or $8.49 a month, on average. The rate change would bring the average monthly residential bill to $90.64 — about what the utility’s customers were paying in October of 2006. (This request is separate from PSE’s General Rate Case currently in review with the UTC.)

Last season, for the 2007-08 winter, lower wholesale natural gas prices contributed to an overall 13 percent rate reduction for PSE customers.

“Natural gas prices have been very volatile and increased significantly since the UTC approved our request for a 13 percent reduction a year ago,” said Bert Valdman, PSE executive vice president and chief operating officer.

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