PSE seeks 1.5 percent increase in natural gas prices

Puget Sound Energy has filed a request with Washington state regulators to increase natural gas rates by 1.5 percent for the upcoming winter season, according to an announcement from the company.

PSE said that while domestic supplies of natural gas are abundant, the wholesale price of natural gas has increased slightly in the past year.

If approved by the state’s Utilities and Transportation Commission, the increase would be effective Nov. 1.

A typical household’s natural gas bill (based on 68 therms of average monthly usage over a 12-month period) would increase by 1.4 percent, or $1.07, to $78.55. That is about what PSE customers were paying in 2010. Commercial rates will increase by about 1.6 percent.

The increase reflects a reduction of a credit included in current rates for the cost of natural gas supplies PSE purchased for customers.

PSE serves 1.1 million electric customers and more than 760,000 natural-gas customers in 10 counties.

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