The cost of heating a home in Utah is dropping again. Questar Gas has asked the Public Service Commission of Utah (PSC) to reduce natural gas rates by $3.4 million. If approved, the rate cut will lower the typical homeowner's annual bill by about $2.28, or .32 percent, beginning Jan. 1, 2011.
"The cost of buying natural gas for our customers has remained stable in recent months, so we're passing the savings on to our customers." said Craig Wagstaff, vice president and general manager of Questar Gas.
At least twice yearly Questar Gas and the PSC use third-party forecasts of natural gas prices to estimate how much the utility's rates should be adjusted to cover anticipated costs of buying natural gas for its customers. Also examined during these reviews are costs related to conservation programs and some system enhancements.
"Our rates are consistently among the lowest in the U.S. This latest cut - combined with continued investment in our popular 'ThermWise' conservation programs - should help keep our rates among the lowest in the long run," Wagstaff said. However, he cautioned customers that natural gas prices can fluctuate with changes in supply and demand.
Wagstaff also reminded Questar Gas customers that funds may be available to help income-eligible customers pay their gas bills. Applications for federal funds may be obtained by calling the Home Energy Assistance Target Program (HEAT). He also reminded customers of the Residential Energy Assistance through Community Help (REACH) program, which is funded by voluntary donations from Questar Gas customers, employees and shareholders. REACH applicants must first apply for HEAT. The program runs year-round or until funds are exhausted. For information about these programs, energy-saving tips, a home-energy audit or information about rebates, please visit Questargas.com or ThermWise.com.