Columbia updates gas prices

Columbia Gas of Kentucky customers will pay slightly more for natural gas in the next three months effective last week, as the state Public Service Commission has approved the utility's gas cost adjustment proposal.

Customers who are now supplied by Columbia Gas and have been for the past 12 months will pay $4.3688 per thousand cubic feet, or Mcf, up from $3.6835. People who are now Columbia Gas customers but previously were in the Customer Choice program that uses other suppliers will pay $7.2006, up from $6.5153.

The difference comes because gas costs are estimated, and actual costs from the same quarter a year ago are reflected in these estimates. In this case, the company overestimated its costs and charged more last year, leading to the lower prices now for people who were also customers a year ago.

The cost of natural gas, which under law is passed along at the same cost that the utility pays, accounts for about 60 percent of bills.