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Winter heating season begins with lower natural gas costs for Columbia Gas of Ohio customers

Thursday, October 31, 2013
With November 1st marking the traditional start of the winter heating season, Columbia Gas of Ohio customers will see natural gas at their lowest November levels in more than fifteen years.
Columbia Gas today announced today that its Standard Choice Offer (SCO) price for September will be .48 (rounded up from .478) cents per hundred cubic feet (Ccf). This marks the lowest November natural gas rates for consumers since 1999. As a result, the average residential bill for November is projected at $58.69.
Past November natural gas pricesd for Columbia Gas customers include:

Year        Cost per Ccf
2013        .478
2012        .50
2011        .54
2010        .52    
2009        .56
2008        1.19
2007        1.03
2006        1.00
2005        1.29
2004        .88
2003        .69
2002        .65
2001        .48
2000        .74
1999        .48
1998        .44    

The winter heating season typically runs from November 1st through March 31st, ushering in a five-month period during which residential customer gas usage is the highest of the year.

With projections calling for the 2013-2014 winter heating season to feature ‘”normal”’ winter temperatures, falling natural gas costs should help homes heating bills remain manageable.

While natural gas costs remain low, many home owners may still struggle with paying their bills. Columbia Gas of Ohio encourages customers to take steps today to secure payment assistance, if necessary, and to ensure their heating equipment works properly before cold weather sets in. At the first sign they may have problems paying their natural gas bills, customers should contact Columbia Gas of Ohio at 1-800-344-4077. There are several payment plans and options available for customers who feel they might have a problem paying their winter heating bills.

The November SCO price will be in effect from November 1 through November 30th.

Columbia’s SCO price is adjusted each month to reflect the natural gas market price on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). Monthly SCO price information is also available at the company’s web site at How the SCO Price is Determined.

Columbia Gas of Ohio safely delivers clean and efficient natural gas to approximately 1.4 million customers in 61 of Ohio’s 88 counties. With headquarters in Columbus, it is one of the seven energy distribution companies of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) and is the largest natural gas utility in the state. NiSource companies deliver energy to approximately 3.8 million customers located within the high-demand energy corridor stretching from the Gulf Coast through the Midwest to New England.

Be sure to call 811 at least two business days before you dig. For information about natural gas safety and what to do if you suspect a gas leak, go to: SafeGasOhio.org.