UGI Customers Will See Slightly Higher Gas Bills

November 30, 2018

The average residential heating customer’s bill for local UGI customers will increase by .8 percent from $89.25 to $90 a month. The increase in customers’ bills is a result of UGI Utilities North District’s gas cost rates increasing starting today, the utility announced While residential heating customers’ bills are increasing slightly in the North District, which includes the Wilkes-Barre and Scranton areas, customers’ bills are decreasing 10.6 percent in UGI Utilities South District, which includes the Allentown, Reading and Hazleton areas. UGI spokesman Joe Swope said even though customers’ bills are decreasing by more than 10 percent in the South District, they are paying more for natural gas than the North District. Residents in the South District pay about 49 cents per hundred cubic feet while residents in the North District pay about 42 cents, he said. “The North is actually paying less than the South even with those changes,” Swope said. “The South is essentially paying more for gas.” The cost is primarily based on UGI’s gas cost rates, Swope said. Natural gas use also is significantly lower in the South District, and the North District has colder weather, older housing stock and is closer to the Marcellus Shale, he said. By law, utilities are required to pass the cost of the natural gas they purchase directly through to customers without any markup. Customers who may have difficulty paying their winter heating bill are encouraged to sign up for UGI’s free budget billing program, which spreads billing amounts out evenly over a 12-month period. Customers with a limited or fixed income can call UGI at 1-800-UGIWARM to determine if they are eligible for one of several energy assistance programs. UGI assists eligible customers in applying for federally funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) grants. Any customer who is behind on their gas bills should contact the utility to discuss a payment arrangement. Information on energy efficiency and customer assistance programs is available at www.ugi.com. Contact the writer: dallabaugh@citizensvoice.com; 570-821-2115; @CVAllabaugh on Twitter

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