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WESTERN PA. NFG decreases gas rates to consumers 2%



Published: Fri, February 1, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The announcement follows word that rates will probably drop again in August.

SHARON, Pa. -- National Fuel Gas has decreased customer gas rates by 2 percent, effective today.

Spokeswoman Nancy Taylor said that a typical residential customer using 115,000 cubic feet of gas per year will now pay $943 for that fuel supply, down from $962.

"While this is not a particularly large decrease, it does come on the heels of decreases of 24 percent on Aug. 1 and 13 percent on Nov. 1," Taylor said. "Coupled with this year's warmer weather, National Fuel customers should be experiencing significantly lower bills this winter."

Predicted drop: The reduction comes just 10 days after National Fuel filed its annual purchased gas cost filing with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission predicting that gas rates would drop by 4.4 percent in August of this year.

Taylor said the 2 percent drop in rates today will affect the size of the August rate change. It may not be 4.4 percent by that time, she said, explaining that the number is an estimate by the gas company based on anticipated gas costs and market conditions.

Dramatic drop: Natural gas costs in the marketplace have dropped dramatically since last winter as supply and demand balanced out, Taylor said, adding that, by law, the company can't make a profit on gas costs but must pass the actual cost directly on to its customers.

National Fuel serves more than 210,000 customers in 14 northwestern Pennsylvania counties, including 30,000 in Mercer County but none in Lawrence County.




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