"It's just simply a reflection of what's happening in the natural-gas market," PUCO spokeswoman Shana Eiselstein said, noting the market price of natural gas can be affected by factors ranging from weather to supply and demand.
By law, Columbia Gas
and other Ohio utilities cannot profit from the sale of gas to their retail customers; rather, the company passes its gas costs through to customers on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
Because natural-gas prices have decreased during the past month, Columbia Gas
passes the lower costs on to customers.
"It is a dollar-for-dollar pass-through," Eiselstein
"What the company is paying for it is what you as a customer are paying for it."
The company makes its profit on the distribution rate, which is 20 to 25 percent of the average consumer's bill.
The remaining 75 to 80 percent is the commodity price, Eiselstein