With customers using much more natural gas than in a typical January, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today approved results of an auction that will contribute to lower gas prices for Columbia Gas of Ohio customers starting in April.
The auction determines the adjustment suppliers in the company’s Standard Choice Offer (SCO) add to the market price for natural gas. The new adjustment will be down 18% from last year and is the lowest in the history of the SCO.
Temperatures in the Columbia Gas of Ohio service area were 23 percent colder than normal through January 19. Customers have used more natural gas this winter because of the cold, and the company estimates higher usage will increase the average bill by $19.47. Natural gas costs represent about two thirds of the average customer’s bill at this time of the year, with the remainder covering the cost of maintaining and replacing gas lines, responding to emergencies, supporting economic development infrastructure investment and other services.
In the SCO auction, suppliers decided how low their prices could go. The winning suppliers will serve SCO customers from this April through March of 2019. In addition to the SCO, customers can also purchase gas through a Customer CHOICE® marketer. Some local governments offer residents an additional pricing option.
Managing usage and controlling bills
Customers concerned about paying their bill should contact Columbia Gas at 1-800-344-4077 for information on payment assistance programs. Energy efficiency programs from Columbia Gas help customers manage their usage and control their bills. Saving matters and options to meet the needs of customers are available at http://www.columbiagasohio.com/SavingMatters.
Customers are also encouraged to take the following steps now to ensure comfort during the winter months:
• Set the thermostat to 68 degrees or lower.
• Shave a minute off shower times.
• Turn the water heater off or down while away.
• Caulk and weather-strip around drafty doors and windows.
• Fill openings and gaps around pipes, chimneys, lights, windows, basement brick and cement work with an easy-to-use spray foam insulation.
For more information on managing energy costs during the cold temperatures, visit https://www.columbiagasohio.com/take-control.