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South Jersey Gas Files To Reduce Rates By 1.1%

Stocks in this article: SJI

South Jersey Gas proposed a rate reduction today that would save residential customers an average of 1.1 percent on their natural gas bills.

SJG has filed petitions with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities that will lead to an overall decrease of $1.44 on a 100-therm monthly natural gas bill. This filing follows a series of other reductions to customers’ bill costs over the past two years, including a 10.6 percent rate reduction granted in 2010, a 3.4 percent rate reduction granted in September 2011, and two Basic Gas Supply Service bill credits for $23 million and $20 million issued in April 2011 and December 2011, respectively.

“With wholesale gas prices currently at historic lows, we’re pleased to offer another overall rate reduction to our customers,” said Jeffrey E. DuBois, President of South Jersey Gas.

The three components of the filing that led to the rate reduction include:

  • The Basic Gas Supply Service petition, which proposes a rate decrease of $11.68, or 8.8 percent, to an average 100-therm monthly residential bill. The BGSS clause serves as a method to pass along increases and decreases in gas costs directly to customers without affecting SJG’s income.
  • The Conservation Incentive Program petition, which proposes a rate increase of $9.29 or 7.0 percent, to an average 100-therm monthly residential bill. The CIP program encourages customers to use natural gas more efficiently, reduce consumption and also adjusts customer bills to account for weather related changes in usage. The majority of the requested CIP increase is due to the unusually warm weather experienced this past winter. Since the CIP was instituted in 2006, SJG’s customers have reduced their natural gas use by 25.4 billion cubic feet - enough gas to heat 84,000 homes - and they have saved $305.1 million in energy costs.
  • The Energy Efficiency Tracker petition, which proposes a rate increase of $0.95, or 0.7 percent, to an average 100-therm monthly residential bill. In April, SJG proposed a continuation of its EET to include five new programs, including a compressed natural gas vehicle grant program, to run through the end of 2013 and totaling over $24 million of investments. The proposed programs provide a broad range of incentives designed to allow residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers to lower their energy bills through participation.

“Customers interested in switching to natural gas would see significant savings – at 73 percent and 72 percent over propane and electric, respectively, and at about 62 percent over oil for annual home heating costs,” said DuBois. “This is the best time of year to switch to natural gas so system installation can be completed prior to the winter heating season.”

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