CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Most of the natural gas utilities doing business in West Virginia have paid less for the product during the past year and that will result in lower rates for their customers heading into the winter, the state Public Service Commission announced Monday.

Eight of the 12 natural gas utilities filed requests last week with the PSC to lower the purchased gas portions of their rates, PSC spokesperson Susan Small said.

“It looks like roughly two-thirds of the residential customers in the state will be experiencing lower gas utility bills for the upcoming heating season which is certainly good news,” Small said.

The low price of natural gas has been welcomed by consumers during the last few years but it’s had the opposite impact on the coffers of state government where severance taxes on natural gas have been below estimates.

Mountaineer Gas, the largest natural gas utility in the state, has asked for a decrease of $0.315 per Mcf, or 6.55 percent. If granted, the bill of the average customer would go down about $2.21 a month.

The purchased gas rate is just one part of a customer’s bill, Small said.

“This does not included any overhead by the company, any rent, equipment, staff, retirement, any of that. This is just the portion of the gas bill that is for the price the company pays to purchase the natural gas,” she said.

The interim rates will go into effect Nov. 1.

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