National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation (National Fuel) has submitted to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission its quarterly adjustment to gas supply charges to become effective Feb. 1, 2022. This adjustment decreases the monthly bill of a typical residential customer with annual usage of 101,100 cubic feet of gas by $2.60, from $85.16 to $82.56.
The rate adjustment is primarily due to lower market prices for natural gas, which have decreased the cost of natural gas supplies that National Fuel purchases for customers. Gas supply costs 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 May 1, 2022.
While gas prices are trending higher compared to recent years, National Fuel’s purchasing strategy and use of storage gas helps to limit volatility or price spikes.
National Fuel’s price-to-compare gas commodity charge also will decrease to $0.60372 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.
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 since 2006, even while consistent investments in pipeline safety and system modernization have continued.
National Fuel customers who are having trouble paying their bills are encouraged to call 1-800-365-3234.
LIHEAP is open. A family of four with an annual income of $39,750 or less may qualify for a grant. Eligibility is based on income guidelines and household size. Crisis grants also are available for customers with an overdue balance or who do not currently have gas service. For more information, visit www.LIHEAPhelps.com or contact 1-877-443-2743.
Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) remains open for eligible tenant households. ERAP helps renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic receive assistance with paying past and future utility bills. ERAP has higher income eligibility than LIHEAP. Visit www.dhs.pa.gov/coronavirus/Pages/Emergency-Rental-Assistance-Program.aspx or call 211 for more information.
The Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund (PAHAF) opens tomorrow. PAHAF supports Pennsylvania homeowners experiencing financial hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and whose household income is at or below 150% of the area median income. PAHAF funds help to prevent mortgage-related issues and utility disconnections. Homeowners should visit www.pahaf.org to learn more.
Other payment assistance programs include:
- Budget Plan, which allows predictable monthly gas bills and stabilized heating payments for the year.
- Deferred Payment Agreement in which customers can negotiate a payment plan in the event of a problem or special circumstance.
- LIRA (Low-Income Residential Assistance Program), which offers reduced-rate monthly bills and debt forgiveness.
- LIURP (Low Income Usage Reduction Program), which offers weatherization assistance for customers who meet income and consumption requirements.
- CARES (Customer Assistance Referral Evaluation Services), which offers payment arrangements and assistance referrals for customers facing hardships.
- Neighbor For Neighbor Heat Fund, which helps customers who are having difficulty paying bills and who meet one of the following criteria: at least 55 years old, a veteran, disabled, have a certified medical condition, or are receiving unemployment benefits.