UGI North District customers to pay more for natural gas

Times Leader staff
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Natural gas customers in UGI’s North District will pay more for the fuel next month, but the hike will be short lived, the utility said Friday.

The price it pays to buy natural gas on the wholesale market will rise on June 1 and decrease in Dec. 1, UGI Utilities Inc. said in a press release.

The average residential heating customer’s bill will increase by approximately 1.9 percent in June. But when UGI submits its annual purchased gas cost rate projection for Dec. 1 to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission it’s expecting a 2.2 percent decrease from the June quarterly rate.

“These changes reflect actual and projected gas costs related to wholesale supply purchases,” said Chris Brown, UGI vice president and general manager of rates and supply. “Natural gas remains a strong value for our customers, backed by low-cost and reliable shale gas supplies.”

UGI is required to file its gas cost rates annually for review with the PUC and may adjust the rates quarterly to reflect changes in wholesale natural gas prices. By law, utilities cannot earn a profit on the natural gas commodity portion of a customer’s bill and are required to pass purchased gas cost rate onto the customers without any markup.

Beginning June 1, the bill for a typical residential heating customer who uses 91 hundred cubic feet or ccf of natural gas per month will increase to $94.50 from $92.75. If UGI’s proposed rates for Dec. 1 are approved, that bill will decrease to $92.42.

The bill for a typical commercial retail customer using 31.2 thousand cubic feet or mcf per month will increase to $256.62 from $250.59 on June 1 and decrease to $249.25 on Dec 1.

The bill for a typical industrial retail customer using 88.1 mcf per month will increase to $663.55 from $646.54 on June 1 and decrease to $642.75 on Dec. 1

The proposed Dec. 1, 2019 rate may be impacted by the PUC’s final order in the UGI Gas Division base rate proceeding currently under consideration. In that case, the company proposed consolidating the existing standalone purchased gas cost rates for each rate district – North, Central and South – into a single consolidated PGC rate applicable to all PGC customers.

Customers may call UGI at 1-800-276-2722 to receive further information on the proposed rates or to find out what actions they may take. UGI encourages customers to use energy wisely and make efficiency improvements in their homes. All customers are encouraged to sign up for UGI’s free budget billing program, which spreads bills out over a 12-month period. Customers with a limited or fixed income should call UGI at 1-800- UGI-WARM to determine if they are eligible for one of several energy assistance programs. Any customer who is behind on their gas bills should contact the utility as soon as possible to discuss a payment arrangement.

UGI is headquartered in Denver, Pennsylvania. UGI Utilities – North District serves approximately 172,000 customers in 13 northeastern Pennsylvania counties. Additional information about UGI is available at www.ugi.com.

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Times Leader staff