Washington state regulators order Cascade Natural Gas to return tax cut benefits to customers

Published on July 24, 2018 by Chris Galford

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Utility rates of Cascade Natural Gas will soon have to cut their rates and return all benefits of the 2017 federal tax cut legislation to its customers, following a ruling by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC).

Cascade’s last general rate increase was in 2016.

Regulators settled on a $5.4 million decrease in Cascade’s natural gas annual revenues. The company originally requested a $5.9 million rate increase. Over a 15 month period, beginning Aug. 1, the company will have to repay tax benefits and refund an additional $1.6 million in excess deferred income tax. For residential customers using 55 therms, this will translate to approximately $1.62 less per month, for an average monthly bill of $45.82.

The commission’s settlement also allows Cascade to earn a 7.31 percent rate of return. Cascade had initially requested a 7.6 percent rate of return. The commission received 38 public comments on the rate increase proposal — 37 of them opposed such an increase and one was undecided.