National Fuel is increasing the monthly bill for residential customers in northwestern Pennsylvania using 90,000 cubic feet annually by $5.80 from $73.99 to $79.79 or $.85 percent, effective Aug. 1.
"The main driver of the increase is higher gas adjustment charges," said Sandra James, director of corporate communications, in a press release. "By law, National Fuel cannot make a profit on the natural gas sold to our customers. The company often sees a timing difference between the cost of gas purchased and the amount recovered from customers for the commodity. The gas cost adjustment can be a charge or a credit, depending on these timing differences and market conditions."
According to National Fuel, gas supply charges make up more than half of the typical home heating bill and are a reflection of the market price of gas that customers use that includes pipeline and storage costs associated with gas purchases and adjustment charges for the over or under collection of purchased gas costs from previous years. The gas adjustment charges "help ensure that the company only collects the exact amount of money for gas that is purchased for customers, since National Fuel cannot make a profit on Gas Supply Charges, by law," James said.
National Fuel will be able to adjust the gas supply charges again on Nov. 1.
National Fuel's cost of doing business is reflected in the delivery service charges "or the cost of delivering safe, reliable natural gas to customers" said James adding the delivery service charges have not changed for Pennsylvania customers since 2007.
When comparing the utility costs to other natural gas suppliers, according to the press release, residents will want to note National Fuel's residential price is $.59945 per hundred cubic feet.
"When choosing a natural gas supplier, it is important to compare the offers carefully to make a wise decision for your household," said James.