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EQUITABLE GAS RATES TO DECREASE

 EQUITABLE GAS RATES TO DECREASE
 PITTSBURGH, May 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Equitable Gas Company today


announced a proposed rate settlement which, if approved by the Public Utility Commission (PUC), would result in a $23 per year reduction in the typical residential customer's bill.
 The decrease would take effect in July, approximately three months earlier than the date originally expected for conclusion of the company's rate case.
 The $23 reduction reflects the net effect of the company's request to pass through lower purchased gas costs and the settlement of a general rate request filed in December 1991 to recover higher costs of operations.
 The settlement of Equitable's general rate case would increase the company's annual revenues by $5 million. This increase would be more than offset by a decrease in the gas cost portion of Equitable's rates. The decrease reflects the company's success in buying lower cost natural gas from producers and pipeline suppliers. These costs make up more than 50 percent of customers' bills, and are passed through on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
 The company said that customers could see another decrease in rates on Oct. 1 when it expects to pass through further gas cost savings.
 This will be the second year in a row that Equitable's purchased gas cost rates have decreased. In September 1991, the PUC approved a $6 million reduction, which decreased an average residential customer's bill by $19 annually.
 The proposed settlement must be approved by the PUC. Parties agreeing to the settlement include the Commission's Office of Trial Staff, Office of Consumer Advocate and the Office of Small Business Advocate.
 -0- 5/22/92
 /CONTACT: Mike Stack of Equitable Gas, 412-553-5911/ CO: Equitable Gas Company ST: Pennsylvania IN: OIL UTI SU:


CD -- PG001 -- 3289 05/22/92 12:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 22, 1992
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