Gas bills going down for some

bklein@timesobserver.com

Pennsylvania customers of National Fuel will see a price drop in their gas bills soon.

National Fuel’s annual gas supply charges have decreased 5.66 percent from $81.48 to $76.87 effective Aug. 1. The price decrease is for what National Fuel describes as a typical residential customer using 90,000 cubic feet of gas annually. For residents shopping for an alternate gas supplier, the residential price to compare is $.56316 per ccf.

“This decrease reflects National Fuel’s ability to purchase lower cost gas supplies, the majority of which comes from northeast production,” Director of Corporate Communications Sandra James said. “By law, National Fuel cannot make a profit on the natural gas sold to our customers. What we pay for our gas supply is what we must pass along to our customers, dollar for dollar.”

James said the increase in northeast production is predominately from Marcellus shale wells. “The production is up so the supply is good,” she said.

In May, National Fuel had a 7.3 percent increase in the monthly bill by $5.55, from $75.84 to $81.39.

National Fuel projects annual gas supply charges each year on Aug. 1 and is able to update the charges of actual costs against the projections on a quarterly basis on Nov. 1, Feb.1 and May 1 each year. James said 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. The supply charge also includes all the charges National Fuel must pay to transport and store gas for its customers, James said. The supply charges on a customer’s bill will never exactly match the spot market price of gas, which reflects only the current daily price of gas.

National Fuel makes it’s profit in delivery service charges for gas through their pipeline system to customers. National Fuel says their delivery service charges have remained flat since January 2007 and are regulated by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.