Pacific Northwest natural gas customers benefit from their proximity to the prolific Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) and U.S. Rocky Mountain (Rockies) natural gas-producing regions.
- Annual Energy Conference
June 7, 2017 - June 8, 2017
11:00 am - 4:30 pm
For many years, energy agencies have alerted Americans to the importance of energy efficiency. A variety of tags and certifications, backed by financial incentives, encourage us to understand our equipment buying options. We know that it makes sense to spend a little more on a product so that we can save money and energy throughout its useful life.
These efforts continue to reduce per capita energy use for both natural gas and electric customers. And the more energy we save, the lower our impact on the environment.
OLYMPIA, Wash. – State regulators have approved plans by the state’s four investor-owned natural gas companies to modernize and update portions of their pipeline delivery systems, replacing hundreds of miles of older pipes with state-of-the-art plastic pipe.
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) last year directed the companies to survey their pipeline infrastructure and propose plans to replace pipeline with “elevated risk.” As incentive for such pipeline replacement, the UTC policy permitted the gas companies to recover costs each year, rather than waiting for a future formal rate proceeding.
“Pipeline safety is an ongoing concern, and one should never be complacent,” said UTC Chairman Dave Danner. “But these plans demonstrate that Washington’s gas utilities are committed to the safety of our state’s pipeline infrastructure. Unlike many states, we have almost none of the more dangerous cast iron pipeline that has failed in other parts of the country, and utilities all have sound plans going forward to replace some plastic pipe that has shown a tendency toward minor cracking.”
The four natural gas companies are Avista, Puget Sound Energy (PSE), Cascade Natural Gas Corp. and Northwest Natural Gas Co. The utilities serve about 1.2 million natural gas customers in Washington.
In their plans, the companies identified the pipe targeted for replacement and described how the company assessed risk and established its replacement priorities. The plans also included a schedule for determining the location of elevated-risk pipe. The plans must be updated every two years.
• Avista’s system has some older polyethylene pipe installed prior to the 1970s. Over the next two years, Avista will replace 60 miles of pipe in unincorporated Spokane County. The company has already completed replacement of plastic pipe in Davenport and Odessa.
The Spokane-based company has about 3,400 miles of natural gas pipeline in the state, and serves some 150,000 natural gas customers, primarily in Eastern Washington.
• PSE also has some older polyethylene pipe in its service territory, 400 miles of which it will upgrade over the next 20 years. In the next two years, it will upgrade 60 miles of pipe located in scattered areas from Marysville to Olympia.
In addition, the company will replace the last remaining18 miles of bare steel pipe. The company has already replaced some 200 miles of such pipe in Seattle and Tacoma over the last decade.
PSE’s miles of natural-gas distribution system in Washington includes more than 12,000 miles of pipeline. The Bellevue-based company supplies natural gas to 783,659 customers in King, Kittitas, Lewis, Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston counties.
• Cascade Natural Gas will replace 62 miles of bare steel pipeline in Longview, Shelton and Anacortes, a third of it by 2015. The Kennewick-based company has almost 4,500 miles of natural gas pipelines in its distribution network in the state.
The company serves almost 200,000 customers in 65 communities throughout the state, including Bellingham, Bremerton, Mount Vernon, Aberdeen, Longview, Moses Lake, Kennewick, Walla Walla, Wenatchee and Yakima.
• Northwest Natural Gas has scheduled all bare steel pipe to be replaced by the end of next year. The Portland-based company has about 1,700 miles of natural gas pipeline in Washington, serving about 72,000 residential and commercial customers in Clark, Skamania and Klickitat counties.
Currently, each gas company regulated by the commission recovers costs through periodic general rate cases, which can take up to 11 months. The commission created a special cost-recovery mechanism for the gas companies to replace high-risk pipe while allowing a faster recovery of the investment in new pipe in customer rates.
In 2011, the federal government adopted a new program that required natural gas distribution companies to develop procedures to ensure the safety and reliability of the pipeline delivery system. The new regulations require operators to identify those conditions, characteristics or threats that cause leaks in order to make their systems more reliable and safe.
Established by the Legislature in 1955, the UTC’s Pipeline Safety Program regulates the safety practices of 31 pipeline companies and conducts safety inspections on more than 24,000 miles of natural gas and hazardous-liquid pipelines in Washington.
BISMARCK, N.D. — Two utility subsidiaries of MDU Resources Group Inc. have been recognized for highest customer satisfaction. Intermountain Gas Company and Cascade Natural Gas Corporation received the highest ranking in satisfaction among residential natural gas customers in the midsize natural gas utilities segment of the West Region in a tie, according to a national study.
The 2013 J.D. Power Gas Utility Residential Customers Satisfaction StudySM was released last week. Intermountain and Cascade earned a score of 655, tied for highest among midsize natural gas utilities in the West Region. This is the fourth straight year Intermountain has earned the top spot.
“There can be no higher compliment than hearing from your own customers that they think you are the best,” said David L. Goodin, president and CEO of MDU Resources.
“This is an outstanding recognition for our employees who make it their highest priority every day to provide safe and reliable natural gas service,” said K. Frank Morehouse, president and CEO of Intermountain and Cascade. “Our employees take great pride in serving our more than 264,000 Cascade customers in Washington and Oregon, and our more than 312,000 Intermountain customers in southern Idaho.”
In its 12th year, the study surveys customer satisfaction across a number of factors, including billing and payment, price, corporate citizenship, communications, field service and customer service.
Skamania Lodge: Discounted rates are $152, plus lodge fees and taxes for a forest view room and $172, plus lodge fees and taxes for a river view room. The Lodge now has a 5-day cancellation policy. The lodge is currently SOLD OUT for the night of June 8, you may request to be put on the waitlist. Reservations are available now by contacting the Lodge 1-800-221-7117 and let them you are attending the Annual Energy Conference. Make online using the code 1XW46U.
Alternative Lodging Options:
Refund, less $50 fee, will be given up to May 26, 2017. After that date, we have already confirmed headcounts and committed to your cost of attendance. We are happy to allow substitutions by calling 503.344.6637.
Continuing Education Credits: We have applied to receive approval for attorneys (Oregon and Washington) to earn CLEs for the attendance at the annual energy conference.
Who is attending?
|Lawrence Acker — Van Ness Feldman LLP||Teresa Acosta — Calpine Energy Solutions||Judy Adair — Northwest Gas Association||Rick Adair — Energy NewsData||Paula Allen — United Energy Trading||Ronald Amen — Black & Veatch Management Consulting, LLC||Dana Anderson — Avista||Darren Anderson — Idaho Power||Shalena Armstrong — Shell Energy||Mckenzie Avenetti — SUPREME PERLITE COMPANY||Nick Avenetti — Supreme Perlite Company||Graham Bailey — NORPAC||Jay Balasbas — Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission||Jay Balasbas — Washington Utilities & Transportation Commission||Donna Barnett — Perkins Coie||Keith Barnhart — Shell Energy North America||Beth Beatty — Cost Management Services, Inc.||David Bennett — FortisBC Energy Inc.||Walter Bennett — Williams Northwest Pipeline||Tim Boyd — The TSB Group||Ed Brewer — Willliams Northwest Pipeline||Edward Brewer — Williams Northwest Pipeline||Tyne Brownlow — International Paper||Ian Burkheimer — Plum Energy||Jeff Bush — Calpine Energy Solutions||John Campion — PSE||John Carr — Industrial Customers of Northwest Utilities||Brent Carson — Van Ness Feldman LLP||Dan Casey — Thermic||Nick Caumanns — Cascadia Energy Ltd||Ed Coghlan — ON Semiconductor||Cliff Conte — Calpine Energy Solutions||Scott Corzine — Puget Sound Energy||Becky Coughlin — IGI/BP||Robert Cox — Kapstone Paper||Brian Cunnington — Cascade Natural Gas||Lynn Dahlberg — Williams Northwest Pipeline||Charles Deister — Jordan Cove LNG||Cynthia Des Brisay — FortisBC||Bill Donahue — Puget Sound Energy||Candice Engel||Ralph Epling — IGI Resources, a BP Energy Company||Carl Fink — Blue Planet Law||Grant Forsyth — Avista Corp.||Kelly Francone — Energy Strategies||Ken Fuhr — Independent Energy Consultants(BC)||Alan Garcia — NW Natural||Kimberly Gentle — Pend Oreille PUD||Laren Gertsch — Williams Northwest Pipeline||Rich Greenwell — Cost Management Services, Inc||Teresa Griffels — Portland General Electric||Sara Grigsby — SUPREME PERLITE COMPANY||Scott Gutting — Energy Strategies||Jena Hackett — International Paper||Steve Harper — Noble Gas & Power||Charley Hathaway — Northwest Procurement Solutions LLC||Tom Haymaker — Clark Public Utilities||Clifton Hazen — NW Natural||Leslie Heilbrunn — Portland General Electric||Kim Heiting — NW Natural||Eric Hiaasen — Clatskanie PUD||Nancy Holbrook — IGI Resources, Inc.||Chris Horn — Columbia Steel Casting Co.||Brandon Houskeeper — Puget Sound Energy||Sam Jackson — Apex Companies||Jason Johns — Stoel Rives LLP||Curtis Johnson — Calpine Energy Solutions||Garth Johnson — Enbridge Inc.||Scott Johnson — NW Natural||Cheryl Jones — Southern Cross Corp||Massoud Jourabchi — Northwest Power and Conservation Council||Robert Kahn — Northwest & Intermountain Power Producers Coalition (NIPPC)||Nick Kaiser — Nippon Dynawave Packaging Co.||Andreas Kammereck — Golder Associates Inc.||Bryn Karaus — Van Ness Feldman||Ryin Khandoker — Portland General Electric||Cathy Kim — Portland General Electric||John Kinder — Questar Pipeline, LLC||Alan Kiraly — SUPREME PERLITE COMPANY||Peter Kresnyak — Absolute Energy||Michele Kvam — Puget Sound Energy, Inc.||Mary Lang — FortisBC||Nancy Lange — NW Natural||Andrew Lightfoot — Puget Sound Energy||Tamy S Linver — NW Natural||Scott Madison — Intermountain Gas Company||Dave Madsen — Williams Northwest Pipeline||Daniel Mangeac — IGI Resources, INC.||Bruce Martin — WestRock Tacoma||Eric Martin — Stoel Rives LLP||Eric Martuscelli — Cascade Natural Gas Corporation||Jawad Masud — TransCanada||Josh McCall — BP||Mary McCordic — Shell Energy North America (Canada) Inc.||Gayle McCutchan — Calpine Energy Solutions||Gayle McCutchan — Calpine Energy Solutions||Mike McGrath — Intermountain Gas Company||Timothy McMahan — STOEL RIVES LLP||George Minter — SoCalGas||Jerry Mishler — Supreme Perlite Company||Jody Morehouse — Avista||Bob Morman — Cascade Natural Gas - MDU||Kirby Morrow — Absolute Energy||Stewart Muir — Resource Works||Tom Myrberg — Questar Pipeline, LLC||Stephen Newell — Ruby Pipeline||Thomas Pardee — Avista Corp||Joelyn Pineda — Shell Energy North America||Justin Pino — United Energy Trading||Rob Platt — United Energy Trading||Elizabeth Ponce — U.S. Cellular||Aldis Raisters — Georgia-Pacific||Jassi Randhawa — FortisBC||Rick Rautenbach — Enbridge||Connor Reiten — NWGA||Clay Riding — Northwest Innovation Works||Grant Ringel — Puget Sound Energy||Chris Robbins — Cascade Natural Gas Corp.||Mike Roberts — KapStone||Thad Roth — Energy Trust of Oregon||Shan Rowbotham — City of Ellensburg||Shan Rowbotham — City of Ellensburg||Dave Santen — NW Natural||Amy Schulties — NW Natural||Kaylene Schultz — Avista||Randy Schultz — IGI Resources, Inc.||Robert Schuster — FortisBC||Eric Scott — Avista Corporation||Mark Sellers-Vaughn — Cascade Natural Gas Corporation||Gary Sernovitz — Lime Rock Management||Steve Simmons — Northwest Power and Conservation Council||Tom Simpson — NW Natural||Gurvinder Singh — Puget Sound Energy||Heather Sixkiller — Portland General Electric||Trudy Slagle — Lamb Weston||Derrick Smith — MacKay Sposito||Teresa Smith — Pend Oreille PUD||Jared Sommer — BYU-Idaho||Tania Specogna — FortisBC Inc||Buddy Stanavich — City of Ellensburg||Mark Steele — Norpac Foods||Ashleigh Stewart — Boeing||Ashley Stowkowy — TransCanada||Ashley Stowkowy — TransCanada||Don Sturtevant — Simplot||Dennis Swanson — FortisBC||David Swenson — Intermountain Gas Company||Mona Tandon — Van Ness Feldman||Mike Thueson — BYU-Idaho||Gary Venz — Williams Northwest Pipeline||Fred Weisberg — Weisberg Law Corporation||Jay White — TransCanada||Keith White — NW Natural||Rusty Williams — BP||Bruce Wittmann — Wittmann Consulting LLC||Brian Wood — Nippon Dynawave Packaging Co.||Tom Yarborough — Weyerhaeuser Company||Dave Yexley — MDU Utilities Group-Cascade Natural Gas|