Manassas Journal Messenger | Columbia Gas raises prices

In addition to the rising cost of fuel at gas pumps, some area residents will soon see higher natural gas bills.

Columbia Gas, which provides natural gas service to Dumfries, Triangle, Quantico, Manassas and Manassas Park, announced a 24 percent increase in their fees Monday.

Residential customers will pay 35 cents more per hundred cubic feet for natural gas.

The average customer will pay $11 more each month for gas for at least the next three months, Columbia Gas officials said. The actual amount of the increase will vary depending on how much gas a customer uses.

That means a typical customer using 30 Ccf (100 cubic feet) of natural gas will pay $57.67 each month in September, October and November.

The utility’s last price adjustment was an increase of about 5 percent.

The higher prices result from the rising wholesale cost of natural gas nationwide, Columbia Gas officials said.

“We’ve seen gas prices going up over a period of time and it continues to rise,” said Bob Innes, spokesman for Columbia Gas.

Columbia Gas of Virginia adjusts its rates based on the wholesale natural gas prices every three months, Innes said.

The summer heat and active hurricane season led prices to go up this summer, Innes said.

Customers looking to save money on their gas bill should remember to keep their heating equipment in good shape and look for simple ways to conserve heat.

Customers should check for air leaks in their houses and windows, Innes said.

“There are simple things you can do,” Innes said. “You can save as much as 10 percent on your gas bill if you just eliminate air leaks.”

Air leaks can be fixed with caulking or weather stripping. Or for a more simple fix, use a towel to block leaks.

Customers may see prices go up again as the winter wears on, Innes said.

“We really don’t know what the winter’s going to bring yet,” he said.

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