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COLUMBIA GAS IS FIRST TO INTRODUCE EASIER-TO-READ BILL

 PITTSBURGH, March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania was the first natural gas utility in the state to introduce a more easy-to-read bill for customers when it changed its bill format on March 3, to follow plain language standards set by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC).
 Gary J. Robinson, Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania president, said, "The new bill format enables customers to more quickly locate the due date, amount due and account number. The use of bolder headings, larger type and additional space helps make the entire bill easier to read and understand."
 Said Robinson, "We hope the new bill format will alleviate any confusion or frustration that customers may have experienced in the past when reading their bills."
 The new bill also contains new information such as a more detailed explanation of charges, a usage comparison graph to monitor residential customers' monthly gas usage, the average cost per day and the average temperature for the current billing period and for the same period last year.
 Residential customers will begin receiving the new bills through the mail beginning March 5.
 During the development process for the new bill, Columbia received input from customers on changes they would like to see on their bills, and worked in cooperation with the PUC's Bureau of Consumer Services.
 The PUC last year approved a policy statement on plain language guidelines that directed utilities to use plain language in bills and other communications with residential customers.
 The commission said the use of plain language is expected to reduce the number of consumer complaints and stimulate interest and participation in utility conservation programs.
 Columbia will be notifying customers about the new bill through advertisements in newspapers, inserts in customers' bills and information in Columbia offices.
 Customers who have questions about the new bill may contact their area offices for further information.
 Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, with corporate offices in Pittsburgh, is the largest investor-owned utility in the state, serving more than 360,000 customers in 26 counties and 449 communities. It is one of five natural gas distribution companies of the Columbia Gas Distribution Companies, which is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, and serves a total of 1.9 million customers.
 -0- 3/4/93
 /CONTACT: Karen L. Miller, 614-460-4607, or James E. Vitak, 614-460-4601, both of Columbia Gas, in Columbus, Ohio/


CO: Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania ST: Pennsylvania IN: OIL UTI SU:

CD-KC -- PG001 -- 2869 03/04/93 10:02 EST
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Date:Mar 4, 1993
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