Meadville Tribune

October 31, 2012

National Fuel bills to rise

Meadville Tribune

MEADVILLE — The typical residential customer of National Fuel will see their monthly bill increase $3.23, from $76.81 to $80.04, under a gas supply charge increase to be implemented by the company Thursday.

The increase was announced in a press release Wednesday.

“The gas supply charge change is the direct result of a rise in the price of natural gas the company must purchase for its customers,” said Sandra James, Director of Corporate Communications. “However, even with this increase, overall rates will be 5.8 percent lower than the rates customers were paying at this time last year.”

 As is the practice for all Pennsylvania utilities, National Fuel projects annual natural gas prices and then performs quarterly reconciliations of actual costs against what had been estimated. National Fuel is required by law to pass any increase or decrease in Gas Supply Charges on to customers with no mark-up or profit.

 ”Pennsylvania utility companies are permitted to update gas supply charges on a quarterly basis to reflect actual changes in market prices and to pass these costs on to customers,” added James. “The gas supply charge also includes charges the company must pay to transport and store gas for its customers. As a result, the gas supply charge on a customer’s bill will never exactly match the spot market price of gas, which reflects only the current daily price of the commodity.”

 Residential customers who are comparing the utility costs to offers from other natural gas suppliers will want to note that this brings National Fuel’s residential “price to compare” to $.62463 per hundred cubic feet.

 Utility companies do not set market gas prices and are required to pass these costs on to customers on a dollar-for-dollar basis in the gas supply charge. This differs from the delivery service charge, which represents the utility’s cost of doing business and providing safe, reliable service to customers. These delivery service charges are also regulated by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and have not been increased since January 2007.

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

Did you know?

Customers are reminded that National Fuel offers a number of programs to help those who are having trouble paying their bills. To find out more about those programs, customers are invited to call National Fuel at 1-800-365-3234 or visit the Company’s website at