Natural gas customers should see lower rates
HUNTINGTON — West Virginia and Kentucky residents who heat their homes with natural gas will see somewhat lower prices at the start of the 2018-19 heating season than they did a year ago, while some rates in Ohio show a slight increase.
In Kentucky, when base rates — which include monthly customer charges and delivery fees — are factored in, Kentucky residential customers can on average expect their total gas bills to be about 6 percent lower this November than last, based on heating season consumption of 10,000 cubic feet of natural gas per month. The average total bill for 10,000 cubic feet — including gas costs and base rates, but not miscellaneous charges and credits — is projected to be about $93.71.
“Ample production of natural gas is continuing to forestall any sharp increases in prices,” said PSC chairman Michael Schmitt. “Even with higher demand due to greater use of natural gas to generate electricity and rising gas exports, the supply has more than kept pace.”
About 44 percent of Kentuckians heat their homes with natural gas.
In West Virginia, the state Public Service Commission announced in October it had ordered natural gas utilities to lower their rates for a majority of the customers in the state.
The decreases will affect the purchased gas portion of the rates.
Mountaineer Gas Co. customers will see this portion of their rates fall by 3.95 percent, Hope Gas and Dominion Energy customers will see a decrease of 5.66 percent, Peoples Gas customers will have a decrease of 6.33 percent and Lumberport-Shinnston Gas rates will fall by 5.84 percent.
The rate changes will affect more than 95 percent of natural gas customers in West Virginia.
The commission said the lower interim rates will go into effect in November, with final rates set by early 2019.
In Ohio, Columbia Gas of Ohio Inc. said earlier this week that its November rate for natural gas residential customers will be 44 cents per 100 cubic feet, up just over a penny from October and up 2 cents from November of last year.
The utility said its November price is based on the Nymex market natural gas price of 32 cents, plus 12 cents for a state-approved distribution fee.
Columbia Gas said that with the new price, the estimated average November bill for its customers will be $58.94. That is up $3.91 from November 2017, when the estimated average bill was $55.03.