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Natural gas costs may soon drop

March 15, 2018 News Extra

PITTSBURGH — Pending approval by the state Public Utilities Commission, the cost of heating homes and hot water and firing up the stove could decrease.

Linda Petrichevich, the vice president of regulatory affairs at Peoples Natural Gas, said the company is asking the PUC to approve a decrease in cost per unit of natural gas.

The decrease would affect all Peoples Natural Gas customers, she said.

She said the average monthly customer bill of $94.99 would drop to $91.60, and an industrial or commercial customer that usually sees a bill of $2,553 could see a monthly savings of more than $125.

The decrease is based on predicted gas procurement, or how Peoples will get their gas in the upcoming year, said Barry Kukovich, Peoples’ manager of community affairs.

He said the prediction is included in the company’s annual filing with the PUC each year, which requires a notice be placed in newspapers of record across the state.

“This is a pass-through cost (for Peoples),” Kukovich said. “We don’t make any money at all.”

Petrichevich said shale gas production in the area figured into the requested price decrease.

“It impacts us,” she said. “The surplus of natural gas available in this area is keeping prices low.’

For more about this story, read Sunday's Butler Eagle.