Falling natural gas prices continue to drive down the cost of heating homes in Utah. Questar Gas today asked the Public Service Commission of Utah (PSC) to reduce natural gas rates by $13 million. If approved, the rate cut will lower the typical homeowner's annual bill by about $10 per year, or 1.5 percent, beginning Feb. 1, 2012.
"Plentiful supplies of natural gas nationwide and warmer weather have resulted in a glut of natural gas. The good news for consumers is that the price we pay to buy gas for our customers is about as low as it's been in a decade," said Craig Wagstaff, senior vice president, Questar Gas. "As a result, once again we've asked to cut our rates, which are already among the lowest in the U.S." He cautioned, however, that natural gas prices can fluctuate with changes in supply and demand.
This latest request comes on the heels of another request, made in December, to reduce rates by $770,000 - or about a tenth of a percent. That request adjusted rates to account for Questar Gas's system-enhancement and conservation-program costs. That change is also requested to go into effect Feb. 1.
Wagstaff also reminded Questar Gas customers that funds may be available to help those in need. Utah's HEAT (Home Energy Assistance Target) program assists thousands of people with low incomes pay the utility bills. Questar Gas's REACH (Residential Energy Assistance through Community Help) program also assists income-eligible customers who are elderly or disabled pay their gas bills. Applications for REACH funds may be obtained by calling the American Red Cross Utah chapters. REACH is funded by voluntary donations from Questar Gas customers, employees and shareholders. The program runs year-round or until funds are exhausted. For information about these and other assistance programs dial 211. For energy-saving tips, information about rebates or to enroll in Questar Gas's Budget Plan, please visit Questargas.com or ThermWise.com.