National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation (National Fuel) has submitted to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission its annual gas supply charge adjustment that will take effect on August 1, 2022. This adjustment increases the monthly bill for a typical residential customer with a annual use of 102,800 cubic feet of gasoline from $22.98, from $87.13 to $110.11.
The rate adjustment is primarily due to higher natural gas market prices, which increased the cost of the natural gas supplies National Fuel purchases for its customers. Gas supply costs are passed on to customers without markup or profit to National Fuel. Pennsylvania utility companies are permitted to update gas supply charges on a quarterly basis to reflect changes in the market price of natural gas. The next opportunity to adjust gas supply fees will be November 1, 2022.
Market prices for natural gas have increased significantly due to several domestic and global factors that have impacted both supply and demand for this commodity. While gas prices are trending higher than in recent years, National Fuel’s purchasing strategy and use of storage gas helps limit price volatility or spikes and ensures availability of supplies for the next winter heating season.
National Fuel’s comparable price gas charge will also increase to $0.90380 per 100 cubic feet (ccf). This benchmark, detailed on the national fuel bill under Gas Supply Charges, is important for customers looking for an alternate gas supplier.
National Fuel customers who are having difficulty paying their bills are encouraged to call 1-800-365-3234 to discuss payment assistance programs, including:
- Budget plan, which allows for predictable monthly gas bills and stabilized heating payments for the year.
- LIRA (Low-Income Residential Assistance Program), which offers low-rate monthly bills and debt forgiveness.
- Deferred payment agreement in which customers can negotiate a payment plan in the event of a problem or special circumstance.
- LIURP (Low Income Usage Reduction Program), which provides weatherization assistance for customers who meet income and consumption requirements.
- CARES (Customer Assistance Referral Evaluation Services), which offers payment terms and assistance referrals for customers in difficulty.
- Neighbor For Neighbor Heat Fund, which helps customers who have difficulty paying their bills and who meet one of the following criteria: be at least 55 years old, be a veteran, be disabled, have a medical condition certified or receive unemployment benefits.
The Pennsylvania Homeowners Assistance Fund (PAHAF) is open. PAHAF supports Pennsylvania homeowners who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and whose household income is at or below 150% of the region’s median income. PAHAF funds help prevent problems with mortgages and disconnections from public services. Owners must visit www.pahaf.org to learn more.
As customers prepare for this winter heating season, National Fuel recommends the following tips for energy efficiency and savings:
- Use caulk or weatherstripping to reduce air leaks and cut your monthly energy bill by up to 10%. Seal leaks around floors, walls, ceilings, ducts, fireplace, plumbing, doors, windows, fans, vents and electrical outlets.
- Set thermostats between 65° and 70° during the winter and 58° when you’ll be away from home for more than a few hours. By setting the thermostats by 10° to 15° for eight consecutive hours, you can save around 5 to 15% per year on your heating bill, or up to 1% for each degree. Or install a programmable thermostat.
- Change or clean the furnace air filters once a month during the heating season. Ovens consume less energy if they “breathe” more easily.
- Hot air rises, so use registers to direct the flow of hot air over the floor.
- Close vents and doors in unused rooms. Close dampers for unused fireplaces.
- Set your water heater to 120° or medium temperature. Empty a liter of water from the bottom of your water heater tank every three months to remove sediment that can affect the efficiency of your unit.