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COLUMBIA GAS OF PENNSYLVANIA TO ASK FOR INTERIM DECREASE IN GAS COSTS

COLUMBIA GAS OF PENNSYLVANIA TO ASK FOR INTERIM DECREASE IN GAS COSTS
 HARRISBURG, Pa., March 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Because of falling natural gas prices, Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania today is notifying the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) that it will file a request for an interim decrease in current gas costs of 21 cents per 1,000 cubic feet of gas effective April 1.
 It also is requesting an additional 11-cent decrease per 1,000 cubic feet effective Oct. 1.
 Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania President Gary J. Robinson said, "We are asking for the interim change in gas costs to provide customers with lower rates as soon as possible. Normally, gas costs are adjusted only once a year on Oct. 1."
 The company will ask for a total annual decrease of $16.4 million in its gas costs -- about a 5.2 percent reduction in the average residential customer's monthly bill.
 If approved by the commission, the combined effect of both decreases will lower the monthly bill for the typical residential customer using 10,000 cubic feet of gas per month from $62.86 to $59.61. On an annual basis, the typical customer's bill will decrease from $754.33 to $715.36.
 With the total decrease, Columbia's average monthly bill for a typical residential customer will be 18.2 percent lower than in 1984 when natural gas prices were at their peak.
 Robinson said, "The decrease is a direct result of lower prices at the wellhead. Natural gas prices have fallen due to lower demand caused by continued warmer-than-normal temperatures.
 "We have taken the opportunity to purchase gas at these low prices and pass the savings along to our customers. This is an example of our continuing efforts to provide customers with the best possible natural gas service at the lowest possible cost," Robinson said.
 The PUC requires the company to submit a purchased gas costs recovery filing on an annual basis in order to adjust customers' bills for any increases or decreases in the cost of gas purchased by Columbia.
 Robinson said the PUC allowed Columbia to decrease its purchased gas costs rates by $1.9 million last year, or .5 percent, which has been reflected on residential customers' bills since Oct. 1, 1991.
 Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania is the largest investor-owned natural gas utility in the state, serving more than 360,000 customers in 26 counties.
 -0- 3/2/92
 /CONTACT: Karen Miller, 614-460-4607, or Roger Morris, 614-460-4601, both of Columbia Gas in Columbus, Ohio/ CO: Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania ST: Pennsylvania IN: UTI OIL SU:


DM -- PG009 -- 4236 03/02/92 18:40 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 2, 1992
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