Vectren, Duke customers benefit from falling natural gas prices

By Thomas Gnau

Staff Writer, Dayton Daily News

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As natural gas prices continue to fall, customers in Ohio are getting a break.

With natural gas prices falling, Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio gas customers enrolled in the company’s “budget bill” plan will see average reductions in their monthly amount due of 10 percent, the company said this week.

The drop will start being reflected in bills this month, said Colleen Ryan, president of Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio.

Under Vectren budget billing, a customer’s estimated annual gas service costs are spread out in equal monthly bill amounts for the year.

In June, Duke Energy Ohio reduced its residential power bills by about 4.5 percent.

As a result, a typical residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a month and buys electric supply from Duke Energy Ohio paid about $118 per month starting with the June bill, down about $5.55 from May, the company said.

The drop was due in part to falling natural gas prices, said Duke spokesman Thomas Williams.

The reasons for relatively cheap natural gas are myriad, but can be summed up in one word: supply. Fracking — or drilling with water — has strengthened supplies of natural gas. Weather forecasts also played a role. Last fall, it was thought that the weather phenomenon El Nino would mean a comparatively warm winter.

Dayton Power & Light’s gas service was divested to Vectren in the year 2000.