Customers are advised that this is just a forecast for prices to be experienced next winter (2013-14) and that it must be thoroughly reviewed and approved by the PUC before becoming effective. Additionally, upon review, this forecast will be adjusted to reflect actual and more current market prices as the year progresses. No gas supply cost change is being made at this time.
"National Fuel is required by law to shop for the most reasonably priced gas while still maintaining an adequate supply for our more than 200,000 customers during the most severe weather," said Sandra James, Director of Corporate Communications. "When market prices change, either up or down, we are required to pass those changes on to our customers. The primary reason for this proposed increase in gas supply charges is that costs associated with the purchase and transmission of natural gas to be effective beginning in August 2013 are projected to be greater than those reflected in current rates."
For National Fuel's Pennsylvania customers, gas supply charges are established through annual filings like this and can be adjusted quarterly, to account for changes in the marketplace price of natural gas. Gas supply charges make up approximately 53 percent of a residential customer's annual bill and are passed on to customers dollar for dollar, without any mark-up or discount. This differs from delivery service charges, which reflect the company's other costs of doing business (including costs associated with installing and maintaining the local pipeline delivery system), and are determined by the PUC.
"Winter weather and colder temperatures can result in bills that may present a hardship for some of our customers. We urge anyone who is having trouble paying his or her bill to call us at 1-800-365-3234. Our service representatives will work with them to set up a payment plan or refer them to the appropriate agency for assistance," James added.
National Fuel serves approximately 209,000 customers in 14 counties in northwestern Pennsylvania.