Home energy costs are set to drop for Columbia Gas of Ohio Inc. customers next month, marking the second dip since prices hit a


Columbia Gas on Thursday said customers will pay $1.09 per 100 cubic feet for natural gas in September. That’s down from $1.35 in August and from an unprecedented $1.43 in July, but up 11 cents from September 2007.

The average customer’s bill next month will cost $28.02, up from $26.16 a year ago, although average consumption rates at both prices are the same.


Spokesman Ken Stammen said the September adjustment is a significant drop in the cost of natural gas.

Despite the month-to-month decline, however, he said natural gas prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange are nearly 22 percent higher than a year ago. Market rates last month were 80 percent more than they were in August last year.

Summer is usually the time gas companies such as Columbia store less expensive natural gas underground for use in high-demand months, Stammen said. But because Columbia bought gas at historically high prices earlier this year, gas bills are certain to spike this winter heating season, which runs from November to March.

“Over last month, we’ve been able to buy gas at lower prices and put it into storage, but earlier in the summer and spring, we were buying gas back then as well,” he said.

Headquartered in Columbus, Columbia Gas is one of 10 energy distribution companies of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI). Columbia Gas is the largest natural gas utility in Ohio, serving approximately 1.4 million customers in 60 of the state’s 88 counties.

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Anybody know what the best deal is for a gas supplier? I get companies trying all the time to become my "gas company", but I don't have a clue whether I should stay with Columbia or move to another company for a supplier. Ah, the wonders of deregulation! Same problem with electric suppliers.

The chance to do so, first started.

Some offered great deals and then the deals faded and ended to being more expensive.

In the end, we came back to Columbia gas.

The forecast, now, for gas prices is trending upward with a price rise when we get into the heating season.

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