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NW Natural to apply base rate changes for Wash. gas customers in November

Northwest Natural Holding Co. subsidiary Northwest Natural Gas Co. can apply base rate changes starting Nov. 1 that are expected to increase its annual revenues from customers in Washington state by approximately $5.14 million.

NW Natural and other parties on May 23 filed with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission a general joint settlement agreement and a multiparty settlement agreement on the company's proposed decoupling tariff, according to an Oct. 23 SEC filing. A final order from the utility commission on Oct. 21 approved the general joint settlement but rejected the multiparty settlement.

Under the order, NW Natural must provide federal tax reform benefits to its customers, including a $2.1 million rate reduction over one year and an additional annual rate reduction initially set at $500,000.

Following the rate changes, the NW Natural Holdings unit expects an after-tax charge of $1.1 million for the fourth quarter.

NW Natural's rate increases are grounded on a rate base of $173.7 million, a $46 million increase from the company's last rate case. In December 2018, NW Natural filed a rate case with the utility regulator to increase the base rates by 12.6%. NW Natural Holdings provides gas service to roughly 2 million people.