Meadville Tribune

Local News

January 31, 2014

No price change for National Fuel customers for the next three months

MEADVILLE — The price of natural gas will remain stable for customers of National Fuel Gas, the area’s natural gas utility, for the next three months.

National Fuel is keeping its gas supply charge, the cost the utility pays for natural gas, unchanged, according to Sandra James, National Fuel’s director of corporate communications.

“It’s good planning and we bought natural gas when prices were down in the summer and put it in storage,” James said of why the rate isn’t changing as of today.

It means the average monthly bill of a typical residential customer in northwestern Pennsylvania will remain at $75.60.

However, James cautioned residential customers may see higher bills because they may have used more natural gas than typical due to the extremely cold weather in recent weeks.

Pennsylvania utility companies are permitted to update gas supply charges, either up or down, on a quarterly basis to reflect changes in the market price of natural gas.

National Fuel may adjust its gas supply charge each Feb. 1, May 1, Aug. 1 and Nov. 1.

Under Pennsylvania law, natural gas companies must pass on any increase or decrease in gas supply charges to customers with no markup or profit.

National Fuel’s gas supply charge also includes charges the company must pay to transport and store gas for its customers, James said. As a result, the gas supply charge on a customer’s bill never exactly matches the spot market price of gas, which reflects only the current daily price of natural gas, James said.

Residential customers comparing the utility’s costs to offers from other natural gas suppliers should note the gas supply charge for National Fuel’s residential “Price to Compare” is 54.6 cents per hundred cubic feet.

National Fuel serves approximately 214,000 customers in 14 counties in northwestern Pennsylvania, including Crawford County.

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com.

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