Equitable Files for Cut in Customers' Bills
Equitable Gas Co. filed a gas cost adjustment with the
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) Thursday which, if
approved, will result in a 9% reduction in customers' monthly
bills. The rate cuts would be effective Oct. 1. The PUC did not
disclose when it would review the filing.
For an average residential heating customer who uses 116
Mcf/year, the LDC said bills would decrease from $97.95 to
$88.89/month. Gas costs are included in customers' bills with no
profit from utilities. Changes are passed on to the customer on a
"We were able to increase our storage over the winter," said Bob
Butter, an Equitable Spokesman. "With that storage, we were able to
buy cheaper gas, store it, and pull it out at opportune times. This
resulted directly in the bill reduction."
Equitable said customers stand to gain additional savings, if
Gov. Tom Ridge's proposal to cut the gross receipt tax (GRT) levied
on residential gas users is enacted. It estimates an additional 5%
cut if the proposal is put into action on Jan. 1, 2000.
The GRT cut proposal is also a key issue in the state's attempt
to deregulate gas service to small commercial and residential
customers (see Daily GPI, Feb. 1).
"The tax cut proposal and the Pennsylvania deregulation bill are
obliquely connected, but the bottom line is we support both pieces
of legislation. Competition is good on our side because we become
more cost competitive and the customers like it because they save
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