Piedmont Natural Gas files request to cut rates

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Piedmont Natural Gas said Friday it has filed a request to further reduce its sales rates for customers in the Carolinas for the 2014-15 winter heating season, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

The utility’s previous 5 percent rate reduction request was approved by the N.C. Utilities Commission on Dec. 22. It went effect Jan. 1. That reduction was based on declining wholesale natural gas costs, which Piedmont passes through to customers on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

Friday’s filing with the N.C. Utilities Commission and the Public Service Commission of S.C. reflects additional declines in wholesale natural gas costs.

If approved, the new rates would go into effect Feb. 1, with residential customers seeing a reduction of about 3 percent from January’s rates and about 8 percent since the start of the winter period in November.

The average residential customer would save between $10 and $15 over February and March.

The utility estimated last year that the average monthly residential customer bill would be about $14 lower from November through March than in the same time period in 2013-14.