Oregonians relying on natural gas for home heating and cooking will be paying significantly more this winter.

NW Natural, the state’s largest natural gas utility, announced that as of Nov. 1, it raised residential rates about 14 percent, and then another 11 percent in March, affecting about 600,000 people. Avista will increase gas rates for its 105,000 residential customers by about 18 percent in November, and Cascade Natural’s 75,000 residential customers will see about a 25 percent rise next month, according to analysis from the Citizens’ Utility Board and the Public Utilities Commission. The commission is a governor-appointed group of three who regulate the rates charged by private electric and natural gas utilities, and the board is a watchdog group made up of 15 members appointed from each of Oregon’s congressional districts.

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