Granting the company’s mid-August petition, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) approved Philadelphia Gas Works’ proposal to reduce rates for its natural gas customers. The reduction will result in a $171 million cut in rates for its more than 520,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers (see Daily GPI, Aug. 20).

The rate settlement proposal requested by PGW called for a two-tiered reduction in PGW’s Gas Cost Rate (GCR). The first stage represents a 16% rate reduction totaling $135 million, effective Sept. 1, while the second stage holds an additional 5% reduction effective Dec. 1. The company said that typical residential home heating customers will begin seeing a $19 a month reduction in their gas bills this month and then will see another $6 reduction in December — or an annual combined reduction totaling $300.

Under the granted proposal, PGW said it will continually review and update natural gas prices for the remainder of the year and make rate adjustments as warranted.

“In contrast to last year, when energy prices were going through the roof, prices have been on a downward trend for the past few months,” said Craig White, PGW senior vice president and interim COO. “We intend to monitor gas prices carefully, and if the downward trend continues, we will be able to reflect any additional reductions in our rates.”

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