Peoples Natural Gas customers will pay more for their natural gas beginning today.
The cost recovery rate, about 75 percent of a customer's bill, is rising for the second consecutive quarter. The rate will increase from $3.98 per thousand cubic feet to $4.62 per thousand cubic feet, an increase of 64 cents, said Joe Gregorini, vice president of rates and regulatory affairs.
The average residential customer who uses 92,000 cubic feet a year, or 7.6 mcf a month, will see his overall bill increase from $72.51 to $77.82, an increase of 7.3 percent, Gregorini said.
"There has been a slight uptick in prices. It [price] is still low by historical standards but a slight increase," Gregorini said.
Customers are paying less than they did a year ago.
"Last January the cost recovery rate was $5.16 and the average customer was paying $79.65 a month. Despite an increase, it is lower than what customers paid a year ago," Gregorini said.
Peoples' customers also pay a delivery rate of $3.66 per mcf.
Gregorini said he isn't very good at predicting future prices.
"With Marcellus Shale, we still have a strong supply. Overall, the natural gas prices are stagnant. We are not seeing any significant increases on the horizon. The supply is keeping the prices low," Gregorini said.
Natural gas working inventories, which reached an all-time weekly record in early November, ended November at an estimated 3.8 trillion cubic feet, almost equal to the level at the same time last year, according to the latest Energy Information Administration Short-Term Energy Outlook.