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NJNG FILES TO DECREASE CUSTOMER RATES DUE TO LOWER PROJECTED GAS COSTS

NJNG FILES TO DECREASE CUSTOMER RATES DUE TO LOWER PROJECTED GAS COSTS
 WALL, N.J., July 23 /PRNewswire/ -- New Jersey Natural Gas Company (NJNG)
customers will see a decrease in their gas bills beginning this fall if the state Board of Regulatory Commissioners (BRC) approves a new Levelized Gas Adjustment (LGA) surcharge filed by the utility today.
 NJNG petitioned the BRC to lower its LGA rate from the current 10.14 cents per therm to 6.97 cents per therm, beginning Oct. 1. The 31 percent, or $15.8 million, LGA decrease would reduce overall customer rates by about four percent.
 NJNG realizes no profit from the LGA, which is simply a pass-through of the company's projected gas costs from pipeline suppliers for the 12 months beginning Oct. 1. New rates are set each year following BRC review and public hearings.
 Under the LGA proposal, a residential customer who uses 25 therms of natural gas per month for cooking or hot water would see a decrease from the current $24.42 to $23.63, a drop of 3.2 percent. The residential heat customer who uses 200 therms of gas in a winter month would realize a decrease of $6.34, or 4.1 percent, from the present $153.10 to $146.76.
 "Our projections show a continuation of soft gas prices during the next fiscal year," said William F. Eckles, NJNG president and chief executive officer. "This should allow us to continue our aggressive efforts to purchase gas supplies more cheaply and to pass along these savings to our customers."
 He noted that increased competition among pipelines should help the region maintain gas cost stability, at least over the next year. This competition has been enhanced by the completion of the Iroquois Gas Transmission System pipeline now delivering large quantities of competitively priced gas from Canada to utilities and power generators in the Northeast, including NJNG, he said.
 In addition, Eckles said NJNG expects to receive a large refund resulting from the resolution of a Texas Eastern Gas Transmission Corporation base rate proceeding now before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which will be applied to the LGA. Texas Eastern is one of five interstate pipeline companies serving NJNG and the company's largest single supplier.
 Lower-than-anticipated gas costs for 1992 were responsible for the BRC's approval last month of NJNG's request to refund $5 million to customers through a one-time billing credit. The credit is currently being applied to bills.
 NJNG, the principal subsidiary of New Jersey Resources Corporation (NYSE: NJR), serves about 315,000 customers in nearly all of Monmouth and Ocean counties and parts of Morris and Middlesex counties.
 -0- 7/23/92
 /CONTACT: Glenn J. Phillips, 908-938-1112, or David M. Klucsik, 908-938-1114, both of New Jersey Natural Gas Company/
 (NJR) CO: New Jersey Natural Gas Company ST: New Jersey IN: OIL SU:


SH -- NY082 -- 2598 07/23/92 13:57 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 23, 1992
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