In 1852, H. C. Leonard and John Green moved from Astoria to Portland. A few years earlier, after emigrating from the East Coast, they had founded a store serving the frontier community. But believing that Portland was the city of the future, they moved upriver.
Among other businesses, they founded a gas company. Their purpose was to bring gas lamps to Portland s streets, homes and businesses. On Jan. 7, 1859, they obtained a perpetual franchise from the territorial government to distribute gas. Weeks later, on Feb. 14, Oregon became a state.
Today, more than 150 years later, NW Natural carries on the tradition started by Leonard and Green and the Portland Gas Light Co. A business that started with 49 customers in one square mile of Portland now serves more than 730,000 homes and businesses in 107 communities in Oregon and Southwest Washington.
The company remains headquartered in Portland, just a few blocks from its original site. NW Natural also serves customers out of service centers in Albany, Astoria, Coos Bay, Eugene, Lincoln City, Salem and The Dalles in Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington.
Our job is to deliver natural gas safely and reliably to customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington.
NW Natural buys natural gas from suppliers in the Western U.S. and Canada and distributes it to residential, commercial, and industrial customers throughout our service territory.
What we do
We build, maintain and operate the local natural gas distribution system that is, the pipes and related equipment that transport natural gas to homes and businesses. In recent years, NW Natural's growth rate has exceeded the national average for local distribution companies. This growth is due to strong customer preference for natural gas for space heating and water heating and the relative cost-efficiency of natural gas.
Supporting the environment
NW Natural is committed to enhancing the quality of life in its service area through environmental protection. Since natural gas produces substantially less pollution than either oil or coal, the wise use of natural gas is one of the most practical means of addressing the nation's air quality problems.
Our innovative carbon-offset program, Smart Energy, is helping customers reduce their impact on the environment. The first Smart Energy program was a biodigester on an Eastern Oregon farm. It traps methane, a greenhouse gas emitted by cow manure, and turns it into biogas, a renewable energy resource.
Giving back to communities
NW Natural is committed to being a friend to our neighbors by supporting the communities we serve.
Providing efficient, reliable, and safe energy backed by top-quality customer service is NW Natural s primary concern.