Shale gas credited with rate reduction

Customers of National Fuel Gas will notice about a $5 drop in their natural gas bills, thanks to increased Marcellus shale production and lower market prices of natural gas.

National Fuel submitted a quarterly adjustment of gas supply charges to it’s Pennsylvania customers to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. The price adjustment will lower the average monthly residential bill from $76.61 to $71.45, a 6.7 percent decrease for a typical customer using 90,000 cubic feet of gas annually.

“Continued decreases in the market price of natural gas due, in large part, to the increasing Marcellus shale gas production, make this quarterly adjustment possible,” Sandra James, director of corporate communications said in a press release. “This change reflects the cost of gas that has been, and will be, purchased by the company for its customers.”

National Fuel also said the decrease will “bring the residential Price to Compare to $.55450 per ccf, which is an important reference point for those customers shopping for an alternative gas supplier.”

According to National Fuel, Pennsylvania utility companies are able to update gas supply charges on a quarterly basis in order to reflect changes in the market price of natural gas.

National Fuel cannot adjust supply charges again until May 1, 2013.

“In a state-required annual filing, National Fuel forecasted a 9.2 percent increase for gas supply charges to be effective August 1, 2013, through July 31, 2014. That forecast was based on information developed in December 2012. Market prices have recently declined below those included in the December forecast. Final rates developed in the annual filing will be determined in accordance with market conditions,” James said in the press release.