Natural gas costs falling for Columbia customers

Columbia Gas of Kentucky customers will pay 3.4 percent less for natural gas during the next three months because the state Public Service Commission has approved the utility's quarterly gas-cost-adjustment proposal, which will be effective through March.

Customers who are supplied by Columbia Gas and have been for the past 12 months will pay $5.4498 per thousand cubic feet, down from $5.6418.

People who are Columbia Gas customers but previously were in the Customer Choice program, which uses other suppliers, will pay $6.7110, down from $6.9009.

Columbia Gas adjusts its prices quarterly to reflect 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.