On October 1, the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved PECO’s plan to expand natural gas service to meet growing customer demand.
PECO is the largest electric and natural gas utility in Pennsylvania, serving approximately 1.6 million electric customers and more than 500,000 natural gas customers in the southeastern part of the Keystone State.
The plan, first filed in November 2014, includes:
- A change in how the customer credit is determined that will help to reduce the upfront cost of establishing natural gas service for customers. Effective October 5, customers will receive a larger credit based on their natural gas usage.
- A pilot program, to launch in early 2016, intended to reduce the cost of extending natural gas mains to neighborhoods where natural gas currently is not available.
“We continue to find new and innovative ways to provide safe and reliable energy solutions to our customers. Expanding natural gas service is part of those efforts,” said PECO CEO Craig Adams, adding, “With natural gas prices at their lowest point in years, this plan will help to meet the increased demand for natural gas service and provide cost-effective ways for more customers to take advantage of the many benefits of natural gas.”
PECO points out that customers continue to save money due to lower natural gas prices – noting that, today, average customers are paying about 50 percent less for natural gas than they did in 2008. Lower natural gas prices also have reduced the cost of electric generation – saving residential PECO natural gas and electric customers about $1,000 a year.
“Today’s action is another in a series of positive steps designed to afford Pennsylvania citizens every reasonable opportunity to avail themselves of the numerous benefits of natural gas,” said Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner Pamela Witmer. “I reiterate my enthusiastic support for these proposals, and I continue to challenge other natural gas distribution companies to consider ways in which they can bring this homegrown fuel source to more Pennsylvania consumers.”
In addition to these new programs, the utility already offers PECO Smart Natural Gas Conversion, which offers rebates up to $200 for residential and up to $1,000 for commercial customers who switch to natural gas from another fuel source. This rebate is in addition to other credits also provided by PECO.