Pennsylvania PUC approves $133 million PGW gas cost increase

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 11, 2001 (PRNewswire) — The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today approved the Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) request to raise its gas cost rate by an additional $133 million in order to cover the sharply escalating cost of natural gas.

Nationwide, the cost of natural gas has skyrocketed. Experts attribute the higher prices to a shrinking supply of natural gas brought on by an increased demand for gas to heat homes and to reduced drilling for gas over the past years.

The increase will raise the monthly bill for a typical residential heating customer using 10,000 cubic feet of gas per month from approximately $104.58 to $136.12. The increase will be effective retroactive to January 1, 2001. The increase follows a $97 million gas cost increase the PUC approved in November 2000.

The gas cost represents what PGW pays for wholesale natural gas. The company passes through to consumers the cost of buying gas and does not make a profit on it. The gas cost charge is one part of a customer’s bill. Customers also pay a base rate charge that includes transmission and distribution charges.

PGW has also requested a $65 million base rate increase. The PUC has nine months to rule on the base rate request.

To help with winter bills the PUC encourages customers to call their utility about budget billing options. They can also contact their local county assistance office about the federally funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

For additional press releases or more information about the PUC, visit http://puc.paonline.com.

SOURCE: Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission