Columbia Gas of Ohio said yesterday it is seeking a May rate of 68 cents per 100 cubic feet, the lowest rate in nearly six years.
The rate is down 9 cents from April and 54 cents from the same month a year ago. The May rate is lower because of decreasing natural gas costs nationally and forecasts that the commodity has adequate supplies.
The utility estimates the average bill for May will be $53, because natural gas usage typically is low in the spring month.
The new rate is subject to approval by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and applies only to customers who buy their gas from Columbia Gas, or about one of every five customers in the Columbia Gas territory.
Other customers buy their heating fuel from other providers, and it is transmitted through Columbia Gas pipelines. Current one-year rates for those suppliers run 82 to 93 cents per 100 cubic feet. The Columbia Gas rate is effective April 29 through May 28.