Commercial and residential customers who are buying their natural gas from Dominion East Ohio (DEO) or Columbia Gas of Ohio (CGO) pay a variable rate based on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) month-end commodity price plus a “retail adder”. The NYMEX settlement price at the end of April was $4.377 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf), up from $4.24 at the end of March. This means that DEO’s variable rate will increase to $5.377 per Mcf for the month beginning on May 12th, up from $5.24 per Mcf for the prior month. CGO’s variable rate will increase to $0.6257 per hundred cubic feet (Ccf) for May, up from $0.612 per Ccf for April. You may compare these standard prices to those available from retail suppliers, as shown on the Public Utility Commission of Ohio’s website: PUCO Apples to Apples. If you have a fixed rate contract for a price that is significantly higher than these variable rates, you might want to contact your supplier to explore your options. In today’s Plain Dealer, John Funk has an article about not only the increase in the price of the natural gas itself, but also an increase in the fixed monthly charge. See: Natural gas customers will be seeing higher bills In spite of these increases, natural gas continues to be a great energy buy. We recommend using natural gas over electricity wherever it makes sense. At DEO’s present natural gas price of $5.377 per Mcf, the price of electricity would have to be less than 1.8 cents per kWh to be less expensive than natural gas for the same amount of energy.
As part of its plan to comply with Ohio’s energy efficiency and peak demand reduction requirements, FirstEnergy launched new energy efficiency rebate programs on April 11th for commercial and industrial customers. The first set of programs provides rebates for lighting and motor projects. We have prepared the following summary of the programs: FirstEnergy Rebate Programs 04222011. More detailed information is available at www.energysaveohio.com