Natural gas rates going down
For the second time in as many months, Piedmont Natural Gas has filed for permission to lower its rates in the Carolinas. Since natural gas rates are based largely on supply and demand, it seems strange they would be going down after the cold spell we've just had. But apparently not everyone has been cranking the furnace. "You know the demand for natural gas from industrial sources and new construction activity - which is another important section of the economy which has been constrained for many months now - because of the recession they're using less," says Piedmont Natural Gas spokesman David Trusty. He says there are also a lot of new natural gas sources coming online thanks to technology that allows it to be extracted from shale. So the wholesale price is going down and when that happens North Carolina law requires Piedmont to lower its customer rates. That doesn't cut into the company's profits though, because around 70 percent of your monthly bill is basically money Piedmont turns around and pays to buy the natural gas. It's that pass-through piece of the rate Piedmont has filed to reduce. If approved the rate decrease is approved, we'll actually be paying 12 percent less for natural gas in North Carolina next month than we were this time last year.