October 24, 2007
CLARKSBURG, W. Va. – Dominion Hope, a subsidiary of Dominion (NYSE: D), announced Wednesday an 18 percent reduction in its residential rates, effective Nov. 1. The rates will reduce the average monthly bill of the residential customer who uses 78 thousand cubic feet (mcf) per year about $20, from about $111 to $91 per month.
The interim rate was approved by an administrative law judge of the West Virginia Public Service Commission. Most of the reduction was caused by lower actual and projected natural gas costs for the coming winter. Also included was a 26.1 cents per mcf reduction resulting from a settlement of historical gas costs.
Dominion Hope does not make a profit on the natural gas it purchases for its customers. That cost is passed directly to the customers. The company is required by law to buy the most reliable gas supply at the lowest available cost.
Natural gas market prices have fluctuated during the last few years because of tight supplies and weather-driven events. Current natural gas market prices are lower because there have been no summer supply disruptions, natural gas storage inventories are high, and summer natural gas usage for power generation has been moderate because of milder summer weather.
Dominion Hope purchases most of its natural gas from local West Virginia producers, reducing the need to pay for long-distance pipeline charges. The company also shops for much of its natural gas in the spring and summer, when prices are generally less expensive, and injects it into underground natural gas storage. Much of the gas that is provided in the winter comes out of storage.
Dominion Hope serves about 115,000 customers in West Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Dominion, one of the nation's largest producers of energy with a portfolio of more than 26,500 megawatts of generation. Dominion serves retail energy customers in 11 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's Web site at http://www.dom.com.
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