PSE requests 14 percent rate increase for natural gas bills

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BELLEVUE, Wash. -- Puget Sound Energy has asked the state's utilities regulator to approve a 14.2 percent increase in natural gas rates.

If approved by the state Utilities and Transportation Commission, the rate increase will take effect Nov. 1.

According to the regional utility company, the increase would raise a $59.60 natural gas bill to $68.01 each month.

PSE lists two reasons for wanting the increase:

  • a rise in the wholesale cost of natural gas
  • to recover the costs of replacing aging natural gas pipes from Nov. 1, 2018 through Oct. 31 of this year

According to The Seattle Times, two-thirds of PSE's natural gas comes from Canada and travels here through pipelines.

A pipeline explosion in British Columbia last year prompted warnings from the utility company that power outages were possible if people didn't conserve electricity and natural gas use. PSE uses natural gas to generate electricity.

"In recent years we've seen major decreases. This year we've seen a change due to significant factors. Cold weather, major storms, the Enbridge incident, that is our supplier. These factors [were the main cause] of the change this year," said Jarrett Tomalin with Puget Sound Energy.

Read more about the rate hike proposal here.

For more information on conserving energy, visit PSE's website .

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