TOLEDO Columbia Gas of Ohio announced the company will reduce the budget payment amount for most residential customers by about $30 per month, or by approximately 22 percent, effective with October bills. For the average residential customer who purchases their gas from Columbia, the monthly budget payment amount will drop from about $133 to about $103. This is the first time Columbia has adjusted budget payment amounts prior to the heating season.
"People are concerned about the unsettled economy and worried about winter heating bills," Columbia President Jack Partridge said. "Anything we can do right now to provide some relief and stability is absolutely the right thing to do."
Normally, a review of the budget payment amounts is done each March. But with the current economy and the fact that higher natural gas prices that existed last July, when the original budget amounts were set, have fallen dramatically since then, the company decided the pre-winter review was prudent.
With the reduction, the average residential budget payment amount will be only about a dollar higher than it was last year. A small number of budget payment customers who do not purchase their gas from Columbia may not get a reduction, depending on their contract with their marketer. Customers will be notified about their budget adjustments through a message on their October bills.