Most West Virginians who heat their homes with natural gas will see lower gas bills this winter. The Public Service Commission has issued its rulings on how much the various natural gas utilities may charge to purchase gas for this heating season.
Each year, natural gas utilities must file purchased gas adjustment cases (PGA) with the Commission, indicating how much they anticipate they will pay for gas in the coming year. The price utilities pay their suppliers is not regulated by the Commission nor the federal government. Rather, it is determined by the market. The Commission reviews the amounts requested and often adjusts the amount it will permit the companies to charge their customers.
The purchased gas component typically makes up less than half of the total amount of a residential gas bill. Last year, however, the market was particularly volatile, which resulted in a significant increase in the purchased gas component of residential bills.
This year, the market has begun to settle, and the prices requested have decreased. The amount approved for Mountaineer Gas is down by almost 20 percent, and Hope Gas saw a decrease of nearly 40 percent for their respective PGAs. Those two companies serve almost 89 percent of gas customers in the state. Of the 12 gas utilities in the state, only Peoples Gas and Standard Gas requested increases in their PGAs. Across the board, the average amount requested decreased by 11.30 percent, while the average amount granted decreased by 19.29 percent.
“It is gratifying to see the wholesale prices coming down this year,” said PSC Chairman Charlotte Lane. “I know this will make a big difference to West Virginia families this winter, and that means a lot.”
More information on this case can be found on the PSC website: www.psc.state.wv.us. Click on “Case Information” and access Case No. 23-0650-G-30C (Mountaineer Gas) or 23-0658-G-30C (Hope Gas).