Contact: Bob Innes
(804) 512-1425 - cellular
CHESTER, VA. – Nov. 28, 2012 – Natural gas prices will increase slightly for Columbia Gas of Virginia customers this winter when compared to the winter of 2011-12. The typical residential customer consuming 100 Ccf of natural gas per month can expect a total monthly bill of $123.09 compared to $120.35 last winter.
Columbia’s quarterly purchased gas cost adjustment approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission reflects the combined effects of the projected cost of natural gas for December, January and February; the annual cost adjustment reflecting the under recovery of gas purchased the past 12 months and refunds from interstate pipeline suppliers.
The combination of historically low natural gas prices and a warm 2011-12 winter have contributed to low monthly bills for most customers in recent months. With the potential for increased consumption this winter with a return of normal winter weather, as well as increasing demand due to the economic recovery, prices are projected to slightly increase this winter. However, average monthly bills this season will be significantly lower than other recent winters. (See Chart)
“The current abundance of domestic American natural gas is providing our customers the benefit of affordable prices today and into the foreseeable future,” said Carl Levander, Columbia’s president. “We encourage our customers to use energy wisely by taking advantage of WarmWise, our energy efficiency and conservation program, which offers cash rebates.”
By law, utilities like Columbia are required to pass through the costs they pay for natural gas to the consumer on a dollar for dollar basis without markup.
Columbia customers can also take the following steps to manage their energy costs:
• Enroll in the free Budget Payment Plan
• Perform furnace maintenance
• Install caulking or weather-stripping around windows or doors
• Keep all registers and air return ducts clear of furniture, carpet, drapes and vacuum them occasionally
• Add insulation to the attic or crawl spaces
• Install a programmable thermostat
For more information on steps to manage energy costs, customers can call Columbia at 1-800-543-8911 or log on to ColumbiaGasVa.com.
Additional energy savings tips can be found at the following web sites:
• WarmWise – www.warmwiseva.com
• U.S. Department of Energy – www.hes.lbl.gov or www.eere.energy.gov
• American Gas Association – www.aga.org
About Columbia Gas of Virginia
Columbia Gas of Virginia delivers safe, reliable and clean natural gas to 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.