PSE&G to lower gas supply charge by 23%, effective Feb. 1

Here’s a statement few people have seen while the economy is trying to fight off a recession: A major New Jersey company is lowering its prices.

Public Service Electric & Gas officials said they will announce Wednesday morning that the utility is lowering gas bills for its residential customers by 23%, effective Feb. 1.

PSE&G officials said the gas supply rate will be reduced by 15 cents per therm, to 50 cents per therm. The 23% decrease in the commodity charge reflects the decrease in natural gas prices in recent months.

The Basic Gas Supply Service rate reflects the actual cost utilities pay for natural gas, and utilities do not make any money on the supply charge. PSE&G’s gas bills will remain the lowest in the state.

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Public Service Electric & Gas officials said customers who are struggling to pay bills are encouraged to take advantage of all available assistance, including LIHEAP and the New Jersey Universal Service Fund. PSE&G has played a big role in helping 220,000 customers in need receive over $450 million in payment assistance funds through state and federal programs. Information on payment assistance programs is available here.

Here’s what all that means in your wallet: When the rate decrease takes effect Feb. 1, a PSE&G residential customer who uses 100 therms per month will have a monthly winter gas bill of about $116, or $15 less than it is now.

Dave Johnson, vice president, customer care, and chief customer officer, said the company is happy to help consumers during a tough period.

“This is good news, with many of our customers still struggling to deal with a variety of economic pressures,” he said. “We’re pleased to be able to provide this relief, and we will continue to help our customers manage energy use and costs.”

Johnson said PSE&G has worked to keep gas rates low despite market fluctuations. The average PSE&G residential gas customer’s bill will be approximately 30% lower than in 2008 and 44% lower when allowing for inflation.