Columbia Gas bills to rise slightly

Columbia Gas of Kentucky customers will pay just slightly more for natural gas in the next three months because the state Public Service Commission has approved the utility's quarterly gas cost adjustment proposal, which will be in effect until March.

Customers who are supplied by Columbia Gas and have been for the past 12 months will pay $6.9981 per thousand cubic feet, up from $6.9554. People who are Columbia Gas customers but previously were in the Customer Choice program, which uses other suppliers, will pay $7.2208, up from $7.1762.

Columbia Gas adjusts its prices quarterly to reflect current market conditions. Utilities are not permitted to make a profit on the cost of natural gas, which accounts for about 60 percent of bills. Gas costs are estimated, and actual costs from the same quarter a year ago are reflected in those estimates. The company overestimated its costs and charged more last year, leading to lower prices this year for people who also were customers a year ago.