FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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May 30, 2014
SOUTH JERSEY GAS FILES FOR BGSS INCREASE
HARSH WINTER AND HIGH COMMODITY COSTS CITED;
CONSERVATION EFFORTS EMPHASIZED
FOLSOM, N.J. - South Jersey Gas today filed a petition seeking to recover natural gas costs caused by high demand from this year`s extreme winter weather and unprecedented spikes in natural gas prices in the Northeast market area. The company filed with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities for an increase to its Basic Gas Supply Service rate. The BGSS clause, which serves as a method to pass along increases and decreases in gas costs to customers, is adjusted annually prior to the winter season. As South Jersey Gas makes no profit on the sale of the natural gas commodity itself, it likewise will make no profit from this rate adjustment.
SJG also filed a petition seeking to decrease its Conservation Incentive Program rate, which will partially offset the requested BGSS increase. The CIP program, which the BPU authorized to continue in a decision issued last week, encourages customers to use natural gas more efficiently, reduce consumption and also adjusts customer bills to account for weather related changes in usage. Since the CIP was instituted in 2006, SJG`s customers have reduced their natural gas use by 41.6 billion cubic feet and have saved $454 million in energy costs.
In addition, SJG filed a petition seeking a small increase to its Energy Efficiency Tracker rate. SJG`s EET initiatives provide a broad range of incentives designed to enable residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers to lower their energy bills through participation in State-approved energy efficiency programs.
These petitions, as filed, would lead to an overall increase of approximately $5.37, or 4.2 percent, on an average 100-therm monthly natural gas bill.
"We`ve worked closely with our regulators throughout the filing process, and we share their goal of minimizing the impacts of energy costs on our customers," said Jeffrey E. DuBois, president of South Jersey Gas. "We monitor natural gas prices daily and continually work to identify opportunities to purchase supplies at the lowest possible cost. In addition, we have the ability to give our customers a credit when prices fall and if that occurs we will exercise this option as we have in the past."
Despite the slight net increase being sought, this filing follows a series of other reductions to customers` bill costs in recent years, including a 3.4 percent rate reduction granted in September 2011 and a 1.8 percent rate reduction granted in September 2012. In addition, SJG issued customers two BGSS bill credits for $23 million and $20 million in April 2011 and December 2011, respectively, a BGSS bill credit for $10 million in January 2013 and a BGSS bill credit of $12 million in January 2014.
"Switching your home to natural gas from oil, propane or electric today can yield substantial annual savings of up to 73 percent on your heating costs," added DuBois. "That`s a tremendous value and now is an ideal time to switch to natural gas so system installation can be completed prior to the winter heating season."
South Jersey Gas, subsidiary of energy services holding company South Jersey Industries (SJI), provides natural gas service to over 364,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Salem, and significant portions of Gloucester, Burlington and Camden counties in New Jersey. Visit http://www.southjerseygas.com to learn more about South Jersey Gas and its programs.
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Source: South Jersey Industries via GlobeNewswire