New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) today submitted a filing to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) seeking a change to its Conservation Incentive Program (CIP) rate for residential and small commercial heating customers. The result is an anticipated increase of 2.4 percent to customers’ total bills, effective October 1, 2012.
“In April we implemented a rate decrease that allowed us to immediately provide savings to our customers. During the past 12 months alone, they have benefitted from approximately $220 in total savings on their energy bill,” said Laurence M. Downes, chairman and CEO of New Jersey Natural Gas. “We remain focused on delivering affordable energy solutions and will continue to look for opportunities to provide savings to our customers.”
The CIP is designed to promote conservation and energy-efficiency practices, while normalizing year-to-year fluctuations from changing weather and usage patterns on both NJNG’s financial margins and customers’ bills. Since October, NJNG has experienced significantly warmer weather, with temperatures 21 percent above normal. The anticipated rate increase is for the recovery of the deficiency associated with the reduced customer usage due to milder weather. Such adjustments are reflected in NJNG’s delivery rate, which is the cost of delivering natural gas service to homes and businesses. This cost is primarily fixed in nature and does not change with weather conditions.
Since its inception through April 30, 2012, CIP has helped NJNG customers realize aggregate cost savings of $222 million, and $20.8 million from October 2011 to April 2012, alone. Furthermore, customers will continue to receive annual savings of over $13 million in fixed-cost reductions as a result of lower demand fee charges.
Moreover, NJNG proposed to maintain its current Basic Gas Supply Service (BGSS) rate, which has been in effect since April 1, 2012 and provided a 3.6 percent decrease to the average residential heating customer’s overall bill. The price reduction was in addition to the $90.7 million in bill credits issued to residential and small commercial customers during the past winter, which equates to $207 for the average residential heating customer.