Average household natural gas bill to drop 14-22 percent
Rolling from a mild winter into spring, the Pittsburgh region's three biggest natural gas utilities continued to slash the pass-through prices they charge customers for the heating fuel.
Starting on Sunday, Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania's average residential customer will pay $66.44 a month, down 22 percent from the $85 bill a year ago when market prices for the fuel were higher, spokesman Russ Bedell said.
"Natural gas costs are low and stable, and they're anticipated to stay that way" in the near term, at least, he said. Columbia, a NiSource Inc. company with a headquarters in Cecil, has 414,000 customers.
The bill is based on use of 72 therms, or British thermal units of gas. Columbia in February switched from measuring gas by cubic feet, as other local utilities do, to Btus, the standard used in the gas market. The system enables Columbia to charge based on the energy content of gas, instead of the volume, the company said.
Equitable Gas customers will pay $84.97, down 14 percent from the $99.29 bill a year ago when market prices for the fuel were higher, said Scott Waitlevertch, spokesman for the North Shore-based utility, part of EQT Corp. Bill amounts are calculated for a customer using 90 thousand cubic feet, or mcf, a year.
"With the mild winter we had, and with the supply from the shale basins," including producers in the Marcellus region, he said, "customers continue to see the benefits." Equitable has 240,000 residential customers in Western Pennsylvania.
Gas utilities are required to adjust prices quarterly, reflecting what they expect to pay for supplies. The companies don't earn profits on the gas they sell, but make money on its distribution.
North Shore-based Peoples Natural Gas Co. is dropping its bill to $70, down about 5.4 percent from $74 a year ago, based on usage of 92 mcf a year, said Joe Gregorini, vice president of rates and regulatory affairs. Peoples has 325,000 residential customers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Authorities recover rifle used to kill Westmoreland police officer
- Kane turns to former Maryland attorney general to lead porn email probe
- Chicago mayor fires police chief in wake of video release
- Founder of Z&M Cycle Sales in Hempfield killed in Florida motorcycle crash
- Starkey: Tomlin lived in his fears
- Film session: Long shots dotted Steelers’ passing game
- Steelers receiver Wheaton takes advantage of opportunity in breakout game
- 2,200 union employees of ATI lose coverage
- Slain St. Clair officer walked into ‘worst nightmare’ for police
- 7 percent in Allegheny County allowed to carry concealed gun
- Woman gets probation in deadly shooting outside Pittsburgh bar