NJ Natural Gas: Some commercial customers to see bill credit, rate drop

Jessica Perry//February 22, 2023

NJ Natural Gas: Some commercial customers to see bill credit, rate drop

Jessica Perry//February 22, 2023

Residential and certain small commercial customers of New Jersey Natural Gas got some welcome news Feb. 22, when the principal subsidiary of New Jersey Resources announced it would implement a bill credit and lower the rate for these users.

NJNG notified the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Wednesday that the Basic Gas Supply Service rate will drop on average by 8.1%, effective March 1, 2023. A typical customer using 1,000 therms per year can expect to see savings of $129.48 on their annual bill, according to the company.

Steve Westhoven, president and CEO, New Jersey Resources.

“We never stop working to meet our customers’ expectations for safe, reliable service at a reasonable cost,” Steve Westhoven, president and CEO of New Jersey Natural Gas, said in a statement. “Following a period of volatility and higher natural gas costs, we are pleased to see prices come down and to pass these savings on to our customers. We will continue to monitor market conditions and use our expertise to manage costs and provide savings to our customers whenever possible.”

NJNG said it can implement the rate decrease and credit due to lower wholesale prices for natural gas recently, in addition to anticipated rate case refunds from interstate pipelines, and the company’s supply management efforts.

The $34.6 million bill credit is a one-time reduction that will last for the entirety of March. According to the provider, for a typical residential customer using 134.3 therms, that translates to savings of nearly $67 on their upcoming natural gas bill.

The BGSS rate, meanwhile, will drop by $0.0616 per therm, NJNG said, representing annual savings of over $61 on a typical customer’s annual bill.

The company added it does not earn a return on the cost of natural gas used to serve its customers. This bill credit and rate decease does not affect NJNG’s profitability.

At the beginning of the month, NJR reported its first quarter financials for 2023. Net income totaled $115.9 million for the period compared with $111.3 million during the same timeframe in 2022.

“NJR reported a strong first quarter of fiscal 2023, with solid operating performance during the recent winter storm event of 2022 driving better than expected results,” Westhoven said. “We are raising our fiscal 2023 NFEPS [net financial earnings per share] guidance to a range of $2.62 to $2.72, largely driven by an exceptional quarter from Energy Services as well as favorable contributions from New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) and Storage and Transportation. Overall, these results reflect the strength of our complementary portfolio of businesses and the value of our physical infrastructure.”