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Columbia Gas hikes budget plan bills

Higher natural gas prices and a much-colder-than-normal winter will result in an increase in the bills of most Columbia Gas of Ohio residential customers who participate in the company’s budget payment plan.
Effective immediately, the average monthly bill will increase by 30 percent, or $20, for most residential customers participating in the budget plan, Columbia Gas said.
The increase from the current monthly average of $67 to $87 reflects a colder-than-normal winter, which increased consumption and raised market prices for natural gas.
Columbia Gas reviews budget accounts each winter to determine the impact of weather conditions and swings in the market price of natural gas.
The company adjusts budget customers’ payment amounts, if necessary, to keep them on track with actual account balances. Each customer’s budget billing amount is different, and may be higher or lower than the average.
The budget payment plan spreads natural gas costs evenly over a 12-month period, lessening the impact of winter heating bills. The amount is based on gas use patterns for the home, the projected cost of natural gas on the wholesale market, and current rates for service and delivery.

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