National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation (National Fuel) has submitted to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission its annual adjustment to gas supply charges. This adjustment increases the monthly bill of a typical residential customer with annual usage of 100,300 cubic feet of gas by $0.70, from $67.29 to $67.99. This 1.04 percent increase is to become effective Aug. 1, 2020.
Resulting from the abundant supply of Marcellus and Utica shale gas produced in the northeast and benefitting northwestern Pennsylvania homes and businesses, market prices for natural gas remain at 12-year lows. Nearly all of the gas consumed by National Fuel utility customers comes from northeast produced shale gas, including gas produced in Pennsylvania.
National Fuel’s price-to-compare gas commodity charge also will increase to $0.35735 per 100 cubic feet (ccf). This reference point, detailed on the National Fuel bill under Gas Supply Charges, is important for customers who are shopping for an alternate gas supplier.
Gas supply charges are passed along to customers dollar for dollar, with no mark-up or profit to National Fuel. Pennsylvania utility companies are permitted to update gas supply charges on a quarterly basis to reflect changes in the market price of natural gas. The next opportunity to adjust gas supply charges will be Nov. 1, 2020.
As the result of cost-containment efforts and efficient management, National Fuel hasn’t sought to increase the delivery service charges paid by its residential customers in more than 12 years, even while consistent investments in pipeline safety and system modernization have continued.
National Fuel recognizes that during these unsettling times there may be instances where customers find themselves facing financial difficulties. Customers who are having trouble paying their bills are encouraged to call Customer Service, 1-800-365-3234, to discuss available payment programs and services. LIHEAP, a federally funded heating assistance program, opened a new CRISIS Recovery Grant Program that will remain open through Aug. 31 or until funding is depleted. To apply, customers should contact their local County Assistance Office (CAO). A listing of CAOs and additional grant information can be found at: https://www.dhs.pa.gov/services/Assistance/Pages/LIHEAP.aspx.
As always, if you smell gas, leave fast! If a rotten-egg natural gas odor is present, leave the premises immediately and call National Fuel’s emergency line, 1-800-444-3130, from a different location. If you smell gas outdoors, leave the area immediately, call National Fuel’s emergency number and provide the address nearest to the site of the odor. To learn more about natural gas safety, visit https://www.nationalfuel.com/utility/gas-safety/.