Following an initial review of the \u201cPurchased Gas Adjustment\u201d cases filed recently, the Public Service Commission of West Virginia is expecting lower gas utility bills across the state for the upcoming heating season.\r\nNatural gas utilities that serve 99.7 percent of the natural gas customers operating in the state have filed requests with the Commission to lower the purchased gas portion of their rates. Mountaineer Gas Company has asked for a decrease of $1.255 per Mcf, or nearly 20 percent. Typical residential customers of Mountaineer Gas who use an average of 7 Mcf per month would see their monthly bills decrease by $8.79.\r\nThe Commission does not regulate the price of natural gas; that price is determined by competitive markets. The Commission does examine the gas purchasing practices of gas utilities and ensures the utility did everything possible to obtain a reliable gas supply at the lowest market price.\r\nBy law, gas utilities are permitted to recover their costs to purchase natural gas. The gas rates of customers are adjusted annually to account for the cost of gas in a process called a Purchased Gas Adjustment (PGA) proceeding before the Commission. The PGA is an estimate of expected prices utilities will have to pay for gas from their suppliers for the period of Nov. 1 through Oct. 31 of the following year, as well as a \u201ctrue up\u201d of actual costs for the previous year. The PGA does not include any profit for the utility.