Following a review of rate filings by natural gas utilities, the Public Service Commission has determined that most residential customer gas rates to recover the cost of purchased gas across the state should be lower this heating season


 Following a review of rate filings by natural gas utilities, the Public Service Commission has determined that most residential customer gas rates to recover the cost of purchased gas across the state should be lower this heating season than last winter. The lower interim rates are effective November 1, 2011. Final rates will be established in early 2012.
For instance, the purchased gas rate for Mountaineer Gas is being reduced from $6.74 to $6.11 per Mcf. The purchased gas rate for Equitable Gas is being reduced from $5.28 to $4.90 per  Mcf. Other companies being ordered to lower their gas rates include Consumers Gas, Bluefield Gas, Blacksville Oil & Gas, Canaan Valley Gas, Standard Gas and Union Oil & Gas. The only major natural gas company in West Virginia to have requested an increase in their purchased gas rate is Hope Gas which will go from $4.83 to $6.50 per Mcf. That increase includes an underrecovery of gas costs by Hope Gas in previous years.
Purchased gas adjustment (PGA) proceedings provide for annual rate adjustments based on an estimate of future costs utilities will pay for gas from their suppliers for the period of November 1 through October 30 of the following year and a true-up of actual costs for the previous year. Customers’ gas rates are adjusted annually to account for those differences in the cost of gas in PGA cases. The commission does not regulate the price of those purchases which is determined by competitive markets, but does examine the gas purchasing practices of gas utilities and reviews the reasonableness of the requested increases. The PGA does not include a profit for the utility.
More information may be obtained by visiting the PSC website: www.psc.state.wv.us.