In a bit of good news for consumers, heating gas prices for November are down from last year across the board.
The Purchased Gas Adjustment, or PGA, is the price per therm you will pay for your natural gas in the month of November. The chart below shows PGAs from this November, last month and last November.
Compared to last year’s November prices, this month’s prices are lower for all major gas companies in Illinois. They ranged from a low of 27 cents per therm for Nicor Gas to a high of 70 cents per therm for Mt. Carmel, a small natural gas company operating along Illinois’ south-eastern border.
A few of the companies’ prices did increase from October. The biggest jump was Mt. Carmel, which went from 53.58 cents per therm in October to over 70 cents per therm in November.
Over the next several months, the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts gas prices to remain relatively stable due to mild winter weather predictions.
Your natural gas bill is usually divided into two categories: delivery charges and supply charges; the PGA is reported on your natural gas bill in the supply charges section.
The supply charge, which makes up about 60 to 50 percent of you bill, covers the cost of the natural gas. By law, regulated gas utilities cannot profit off of the supply charge; they are required to charge customers what they pay for the gas, with no markup.
To ensure utilities are trying their hardest to keep gas bills low, state regulators do “prudence reviews” of each utility. Every year, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) initiates these investigations into utilities’ purchasing decisions to ensure they are prudent and reasonable.
NOTE: The utilities’ supply charge changes monthly, so check with CUB at the start of each month to see what you’re paying for natural gas.
The other 30 to 50 percent of your bill covers delivery charges, the cost of getting gas to homes—plus a profit for the utility. Those rates are set by the ICC.