Eugene, Oregon — Things are getting more expensive for natural gas users. Energy prices are on the rise and Northwest Natural is now raising rates in Oregon.
Northwest Natural and Cascade Natural Gas will raise rates from November, thanks to rising global energy prices and volatile markets. Northwest Natural’s president and CEO says the company understands the hardships people are going through right now. The bill will be about $28 higher, but the company is trying to soften the blow by offering a one-off credit of $14 each month from November 1 through March 14. After that, the credit offer will stop.
But for some people, like Eugene’s Sam Deveraux, who live on a fixed income, that may not be enough.
“I have bonds, so I think it’s Orwellian,” Deveraux said. “I’m retired and living off my savings, so that money he saved 20 years ago. It’s an increase for me.”
Northwest Natural says the price hike is an inflation adjustment and customers will have to pay less for natural gas than they did 15 years ago. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of natural gas has risen 66% in he 15 years. This is relatively less than other items such as meat such as bacon, which increased by 102%.
“If money is tight all the time and you have to pay more for gas, I think it’s going to make their lives harder,” said Larry Norris, a Eugene resident. “So I think it’s a difficult time to raise the price of gas to heat the house.”