Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G) -- a unit of Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) and New Jersey's largest natural gas utility -- said it will give its residential customers a credit of 28 cents/therm for the next three months, thanks to the state's proximity to the Marcellus Shale and other factors.
The Newark, NJ-based utility said the credit, to be offered for natural gas usage in November, December and January, will result in a 31% reduction in the average bill for a typical residential gas heating customer. PSE&G said that such a customer would use 91 therms in November, and 165 therms in both December and January, which equates to a total bill credit of approximately $118.
"Depending on meter reading schedules, many customers will see some of the credit in November, December and January with the remainder in February," PSE&G said.
The utility added that the new credit would be in addition to the reduction it put in place effective Oct. 1, which reduced the gas supply rate from 54 cents/therm to 45 cents/therm, its lowest in 14 years.
"Since 2009, PSE&G's residential gas customers have benefitted from steady reductions in the cost of natural gas," said Jorge Cardenas, PSE&G vice president of asset management and centralized services. "We're able to provide additional savings this winter given the continued availability of low-cost gas from the nearby Marcellus Shale formation in Pennsylvania.
"In addition, our transportation and storage capabilities and the way we manage our pipeline contracts have enabled us to seize this opportunity to once again reduce costs for our customers. While there's no guarantee that these savings will be available in future years, we are pleased to pass them on to our customers as temperatures are dropping and they strive to keep their winter heating bills affordable."
PSE&G does not make a profit on the sale of natural gas; it passes along what it pays for the gas to customers. The utility said natural gas supply costs account for about half of a customer's monthly bill.