Budget Bills Lower for Most Columbia Gas Customers

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Contact: Bob Innes
(804) 768-6410
(804) 512-1425 - cellular

$10 reduction effective with new budget projects in May bills

CHESTER, VA. – May 16, 2012 – Low natural gas prices and mild winter weather will result in a significant reduction in the bills of most Columbia Gas of Virginia Budget Payment Plan customers, the company said today.

Effective with the projected budget payment amounts reflected in the May customer bills, Columbia is reducing by $10 the average monthly budget payment amount for most of its budget customers, from the current average of $75.00 to $65.00. The average $10.00 per month drop is the result of natural gas commodity prices that continue at their lowest levels in a decade influenced by an abundant supply of natural gas and a significantly warmer than normal winter.

“With all of the concern today about rising energy prices, it’s great to know that natural gas prices remain low and are expected to be stable for the foreseeable future,” said Columbia Gas of Virginia President Carl Levander. “With many families still struggling to make ends meet in a slowly recovering economy, this is good news.”

Columbia reviews budget accounts each spring to determine the impact of weather conditions and swings in the market price of natural gas. The company adjusts budget customers’ payment amounts, if necessary, to keep them on track with actual account balances.

Nearly 56,000 Columbia customers take advantage of the budget payment plan and most will see a reduction. Other’s will see a slight increase, likely the result of increases in usage and some will see little or no change in their monthly payment amounts. Each customer’s budget billing amount is different, and may be higher or lower than the average based on individual usage patterns.

The Budget Payment Plan spreads natural gas costs evenly over a 12-month period, lessening the impact of winter heating bills. The amount is based on historical gas usage patterns for the home, the projected cost of natural gas on the wholesale market, and current rates for service and delivery.

About Columbia Gas of Virginia

Columbia Gas of Virginia delivers safe, reliable and clean natural gas to over 245,000 customers in portions of Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, suburban Richmond, Central Virginia, and the Shenandoah Valley, the Lynchburg region and parts of Western Virginia. With headquarters in Chesterfield County, the company is one of the 7 energy distribution companies of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) serving 3.8 million natural gas and electric customers. Always call 811 before you dig and Dig with CARE. Learn more at www.ColumbiaGasVa.com.