Columbia Gas customers to pay less

Columbia Gas of Kentucky customers will pay 34 percent less for natural gas for the next three months, beginning May 30, because the state Public Service Commission has approved the utility's quarterly gas cost-adjustment proposal.

Customers who are supplied by Columbia Gas and have been for the past 12 months will pay $3.723 per thousand cubic feet, down from $5.6509. People who are Columbia Gas customers but during the past year were in the Customer Choice program, which uses other suppliers, will pay $4.2104, down from $6.1218.

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 half 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 quarter for people who also were customers a year ago.