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UGI Again Cuts PA Customer Rates as Marcellus Supplies Increase

UGI Corp.'s natural gas utilities in Pennsylvania each announced this week decreases in their purchased gas cost rates that are expected to cut the average residential heating customer's current bill by as much as 11.4%.

UGI Penn Natural Gas, which serves customers in Southeast Pennsylvania, said rates would decrease by 11.4%, pushing average customer bills from $85.26/month to $75.57. Combined with similar rate cuts in March and June, the utility said residential customers would pay about $21 less per month than they did last winter.

UGI Central Penn Gas, which serves customers in the eastern and central part of the state, said residential heating bills would decrease by about 3.2%. The gas cost decrease means an average bill would decline from $78.96/month to $76.41. Combined with the cuts earlier in the year, residential customers are expected to pay about $9 less per month than they did last winter.

UGI Utilities Inc., which also serves customers in Southeast Pennsylvania, said its residential customer bills would drop by 6.7%, with bills projected to decline from $75.84/month to $70.76, or about $14 less, on average, compared to what they paid last winter.

Combined, the three utilities serve 663,000 customers in dozens of counties across the state. More than 90% of UGI's natural gas supplies now come from the Marcellus Shale, up from roughly 70% at this time last year, as the company has continued to complete key gathering projects to collect more of the gas for its customers (see Shale DailyNov. 21, 2014Dec. 2, 2014). Through its subsidiaries, UGI Corp. distributes, stores, transports and markets energy products such as natural gas, propane and butane.

Lower customer costs, said UGI's Paul Szykman, vice president of rates, are the result of more low-priced Marcellus gas.

"This seven-year trend of moderating prices means customers bills are about half of what they were at their peak, when the average monthly bill topped $150," Szykman said.

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