Piedmont Natural Gas looking to reduce rates for customers in the Carolinas

Published on December 29, 2021 by Dave Kovaleski

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Piedmont Natural Gas is looking to reduce rates for its customers due to a decrease in the market cost of natural gas.

The Charlotte-based company recently filed requests with the utility commissions in North Carolina and South Carolina. If the decreases are approved, bills for the average residential customer in North Carolina and South Carolina will decrease by about $5 per month, or about $15 total, for the first quarter of 2022. The rate decreases will each take effect on Jan. 1, 2022, pending approvals.

“With so many factors impacting the global market price of natural gas, it’s difficult to predict what rates will be in the coming months,” Sasha Weintraub, Piedmont Natural Gas senior vice president, said. “We are glad to see a downward trend in the cost of natural gas to lessen the impact on customers this winter.”

Piedmont requests occasional rate adjustments to reflect fluctuations in the market price of the natural gas it purchases for its customers. Earlier this year, Piedmont increased rates, citing dramatic surges in the global market cost of natural gas. Piedmont does not mark up the cost of natural gas and must pass through the actual cost on a dollar-for-dollar basis to customers.

“We do all we can to ease price impacts on customers,” Weintraub added. “We are continuing to proactively notify customers about available assistance and sharing ways customers can help manage their bills throughout the winter.”

The company offers several programs to assist customers with their costs, including the Equal Payment Program (EPP). This free service allows customers to pay a predictable, equal monthly amount to help avoid billing surprises. Piedmont determines this payment by adding up a customer’s annual natural gas usage and dividing it into the same payment amount each month.

The company is also reaching out to customers whose bills are past due with information about utility assistance administered by agencies in their state and local communities. Also, the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) provides winter heating assistance to pay for gas, electric, and other methods customers use to heat their homes.

Piedmont Natural Gas, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, distributes natural gas to more than 1 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.