Regulators Approve Natural Gas Rate Reduction

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NEWARK – New Jersey residents and businesses will pay less for natural gas this winter.

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities today approved rate reductions from the state’s four natural gas utilities.  The new rates reflect declining market costs for natural gas and will become effective immediately.

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The amount of the rate reduction approved by the Board varies among the state’s natural gas utility companies.  In some cases, the board has already approved interim rate reductions over the course of the past year to reflect declining natural gas prices.  With today’s reductions, New Jersey’s natural gas customers are benefiting from an overall reduction in natural gas prices ranging from 23.5% to 37.3% compared to a year ago.

Public Service Electric and Gas Company
The board approved PSE&G’s proposal to reduce its rate from $0.990753 per therm to $0.88795 per therm (10.4%).  The company’s existing rate reflected interim reductions taken in January and March of this year.  Those interim reductions reduced the bill for an average residential heating customer (using 1000 therms annually) by $106.41 annually.  The new rate would result in an additional reduction of $155.91 per average residential customer.

New Jersey Natural Gas Company
The board approved NJNG’s proposal to reduce its rate from $1.1008 per therm to $0.8039 per therm.  The company had already instituted bill credits from January through March of this year, which reduced the typical residential heating customer’s annual bill by $107.70.  The new rate will result in an additional annual reduction in the residential customer’s bill of $187.70.

In addition, the board approved the company’s latest Conservation Incentive Program (CIP) filing, which will further reduce charges to its customers.  The additional annual reduction for the typical residential heating customer will be $29.90.

South Jersey Gas Company
The board approved SJG’s proposal to reduce its rate from $1.0977 per therm to $0.8398 per therm. In addition, the board approved the company’s proposal to provide a bill credit for October 2009.  The company’s existing rate reflects an interim reduction taken in January, which resulted in a reduction of $26.22 in the average residential heating customer’s annual bill.  The new rate will result in an additional annual reduction in the residential customer’s bill of $215.01.  The October bill credit will further reduce the residential customer’s annual bill by $83 for a total reduction of $324.23 over the past 12 months.

In addition, the board approved the company’s latest CIP filing, which will reduce charges for its average residential heating customer by an additional $31.30 annually compares to rates approved a year ago.

Elizabethtown Gas Company
The board approved Elizabethtown’s proposal to reduce its rate from $1.2801 per therm to $0.8031 per therm. The reduction will result in an annual bill reduction for the typical residential heating customer of $477 compared to rates of a year ago.  In addition to declining natural gas prices, Elizabethtown’s rates also reflect the elimination of charges that had been in effect to recover previous shortages in the calculation of allowable natural gas prices for its customers. Elizabethtown had no interim reductions in its rate over the past year.


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