Columbia Gas of Ohio customers may soon be able to lock in natural gas prices for three years under a plan unveiled by Centrica subsidiary Direct Energy.

Under the “Price Dropper” plan, residential customers will be able to lock in natural gas supply rates of $0.979/100 cf in the first year, beginning with the March 2005 billing cycle; $0.959 the second year; and $0.939 the third year. The offer is available only until the supplies that Direct Energy has secured at these prices last, the company said. Other terms, conditions and restrictions may apply.

“In a volatile market where fluctuating natural gas prices have trended upward, nearly doubling in the past two years, we are pleased to provide the peace of mind that comes with an assured supply at a continuously declining rate,” said Badar Khan, vice president of marketing and sales for Direct Energy. “This unique plan represents our commitment to fresh ideas that respond to our customers’ home energy needs.”

The plan is available to eligible residential customers in all counties serviced by Columbia Gas of Ohio, including those in Franklin, Delaware, Fairfield, Knox, Madison, Pickaway and Union counties. Residents who enroll with Direct Energy will see no changes in their natural gas delivery service. They will continue to receive bills from and send payments to Columbia Gas of Ohio, which also will continue to respond to service and emergency calls.

To learn more about the plan, call Direct Energy toll free at (866) 750-3213.

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