National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation has submitted to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) its required annual Purchased Gas Cost projection for gas purchases to be made Aug. 1, 2021, through July 31, 2022. The company is projecting an increase in overall gas supply charges totaling approximately $71.20 per year in this state-required filing. If approved as filed, the monthly bill for a typical residential customer starting in August 2021, would increase from $75.62 to $81.55 per month or by 7.85%.
The primary reason for this forecasted increase in gas supply charges is that costs associated with the purchase and transmission of natural gas are projected to be higher than those reflected in current rates.
Customers are advised that this forecast is for prices to be experienced next winter (2021-2022) and must be thoroughly reviewed and approved by the PUC before becoming effective. Additionally, upon approval, pricing will be adjusted quarterly to reflect current market prices.
National Fuel is required by law to shop for the most reasonably priced gas while still maintaining an adequate supply for approximately 200,000 Pennsylvania customers. As market prices fluctuate, National Fuel is required to pass those changes to customers, without any mark-up or discount. This differs from delivery service charges, which reflect the company’s costs of doing business (including costs associated with installing and maintaining the local pipeline delivery system), and are determined by the PUC. National Fuel hasn’t sought to increase delivery service charges in more than 13 years, even while consistent investments in pipeline safety and system modernization have continued.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, LIHEAP, is open. Eligibility for this federally funded program is based on income guidelines and household size. For example, a family of four with a gross monthly income of $3,275 may qualify for a grant. Monies are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Customers having trouble paying bills should call National Fuel Customer Service, 1-800-365-3234, to discuss payment assistance programs.
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 an odor of gas outdoors, leave the area, 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 www.nationalfuel.com/utility/gas-safety.