PGA Rate Increase
Effective October 1, 2014, the ‘Gas Adj’ portion of Elkton Gas customer bills will reflect an increase due to an annual adjustment of the Purchased Gas Adjustment (PGA). The PGA provides for the collection or refund of increased or lowered prices that Elkton Gas must pay its suppliers to purchase gas. The costs included in computing the PGA are gas costs only and are on a dollar for dollar basis without any profit for the Company.
The Public Service Commission of Maryland regulates utilities like Elkton Gas. The price customers pay for the natural gas they use each month is regulated by the Commission and Elkton Gas does not profit from the gas cost.
PGA rate increase Frequently Asked Questions
What does this mean for the customer? The Elkton Gas PGA gas cost will increase by approximately $0.30 per therm from $0.63 to $0.93, (full rates from $0.63067 to $0.93256). So, an average residential heating customer using 500 therms of natural gas will see an increase of approximately $13 per month or $151 per year. (Average bill from $563 to $714). An average commercial heating customer using 4,000 therms of natural gas will see an increase of approximately $100 per month or $1,207 per year. (Average bill from $3,638 to $4,845).
Why did the rate go up? Each year Elkton Gas files with the Maryland Public Service Commission, to reconcile the PGA for certain bill components for the next 12 month period. Included in this year’s filing are gas costs from prior periods when Elkton Gas under-collected due to colder winter weather and market prices for natural gas.
Approximately $0.22 of the $0.30 price increase comes as a result of last winter’s colder-than-normal temperatures in the Northeast and the simultaneous occurrence of temporary shutdowns of nuclear electric generation plants in January.
- Those plants switched over to natural gas powered electric generation, thereby further increasing demand for natural gas which went as high as $12.35 per therm during January.
- Elkton Gas purchased 24% more natural gas in January of this year than in January of last year.
- An indication of the large increase in the market price of natural gas paid by Elkton Gas is the comparison of last January’s price to this January. The average cost of natural gas purchased this January was $1.62 per therm compared to $0.43 per therm purchased January of last year.
What can I do to keep my bill affordable?
Sign up for My Account online, where you can analyze your energy use and compare past and present usage and bills
Sign up for our Budget Payment Plan – a great option if you want your bill to be the same amount each month for the next 12 months. We estimate how much gas a customer will use for the next 12 months, based on past usage, and divide that amount by 12 to determine the monthly payment. The plan is reviewed to ensure the budget payment amount keeps pace with actual usage. The plan minimizes the "peaks and valleys" in natural gas bills by allowing you to pay a consistent amount every month for a 12-month period.
You can also take control of your winter heating bills by following the conservation and weatherization tips.
- Open curtains during the day to allow sunlight to heat your home naturally, and close curtains at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
- Keep furniture, drapes, stuffed animals and other objects from blocking your heating sources.
- Caulk and weather-strip drafty doors and windows.
- Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the window frame to help reduce infiltration of cold air and loss of warm air.
- Caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring penetrates through exterior walls, floors and ceilings. Install insulated gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on exterior walls to prevent drafts.
- Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home. If you suspect carbon monoxide is present in your home or business, you should immediately leave the area and call 9-1-1 from a safe location.
Where can I get help if needed?
Maryland offers the Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP), which offers assistance to income-eligible households. Please contact the Cecil County Department of Social Services at 410.996.0270. For more information on energy assistance, click here.