- The average North Carolina residential customer to save approximately $14 per month and average South Carolina residential customer to save approximately $10 per month beginning with customers' February 2023 bills
- Video here: Learn how your natural gas bill works, and what factors influence your monthly bill
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 31, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Piedmont Natural Gas has received approval from the North Carolina Utilities Commission and the Public Service Commission of South Carolina to reduce customer billing rates due to a decrease in the market cost of natural gas compared to last fall. The decrease will be reflected beginning with customers' February 2023 bills.
This rate reduction translates to a savings of approximately $14 per month, or $170 per year, for the average North Carolina residential customer and approximately $10 per month, or $116 per year, for the average South Carolina residential customer. Because natural gas usage often is higher during the winter months, North Carolina customers may see as much as a $27 reduction each month for their winter bills. South Carolina customers may see as much as an $18 reduction each month for their winter bills.
"Piedmont is continually working to keep costs as low as possible for our customers," said Sasha Weintraub, senior vice president and president of Piedmont Natural Gas. "We're happy the downward trend in the cost of natural gas allows us to provide some relief during the winter months, when increased usage driven by colder temperatures often results in higher bills."
Piedmont requests periodic rate adjustments to reflect fluctuations in the market price of the natural gas it purchases for its customers. By law, Piedmont does not mark up the cost of natural gas and must pass through the actual cost on a dollar-for-dollar basis to customers.
"Even with these cost reductions, we recognize there are customers who may continue to struggle with paying their bills, and we encourage customers to apply for assistance, enroll in our Equal Payment Plan and implement energy-saving tips to help take control of their natural gas bills," added Weintraub.
Level out your bill with the Equal Payment Plan (EPP) program
This free service helps customers manage their budgets by eliminating high winter bills. The EPP program levels out a customer's natural gas bills, allowing them to pay a predictable, equal monthly amount to help avoid billing surprises. Piedmont determines this payment by adding up a customer's annual natural gas usage and then dividing it into the same payment amount each month. Learn more here.
Assistance for customers in need
Piedmont is reaching out to customers whose bills are past due through email and/or text with information about utility assistance administered by agencies in their state and local communities.
Share the Warmth provides funds to local agencies to assist families with their utility bills, no matter the source of energy they use.
The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) provides winter heating assistance to pay for natural gas, electric and other methods customers use to heat their homes. There are many customers who are eligible but do not apply for this annual federal benefit that can reduce winter heating costs for low-income families. Information on how to apply locally:
Piedmont says anyone in need should apply for this and other newly available programs to see if they qualify. For detailed federal and state-specific information, go to piedmontng.com/WinterBills and click on your state.
Piedmont Natural Gas also offers a variety of energy-saving tools to help customers and our communities identify ways to save money and energy all year long. These programs and tools help customers understand what factors are impacting their natural gas bills and emphasize specific actions they can take to reduce the impacts of high winter usage.
Eight low- to no-cost energy-saving tips and projects
Natural gas use typically spikes in the winter as customers combat low temperatures to stay warm. Below are tips to help manage your energy use when temperatures decline. B-roll of energy efficiency measures is available here.
- Set your thermostat to the lowest comfortable setting to help save. Installing a "smart" or programmable thermostat will also help reduce your energy use while you are asleep or away.
- Leave drapes or blinds open during sunny winter days to allow the sun to warm the house. Close them at night to help insulate your home.
- Change air filters regularly. A dirty air filter makes a heating system work harder, which uses more energy.
- Manage water heating. Set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or consider installing an on-demand or tankless water heater that only heats water when you need it.
- Learn how to reduce energy use. The first step to reduce energy use in your home is to identify and prioritize energy-saving improvements. This can be accomplished through a certified auditor or by performing your own energy audit.
- Seal air ducts. Make sure the air ducts from your home's furnace and central air conditioner are properly sealed. Ducts that leak into the attic or crawl space can substantially increase your heating and cooling bills.
- Seal your home. One of the quickest energy-saving tasks you can do is caulk, seal and weatherstrip all seams, cracks and openings to the outside. This can save 10% to 20% on your heating and cooling bills.
- Consider insulation. Consider whether you need to add insulation to your ceilings, floors and walls. Insulation between the indoors and outdoors reduces energy demand, saving you money while improving the comfort of your home.
Piedmont Natural Gas
Piedmont Natural Gas, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, distributes natural gas to more than 1.1 million residential, commercial, industrial and power generation customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Piedmont Natural Gas earned the No. 1 spot in customer satisfaction with residential natural gas service in the South among large utilities, according to the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Gas Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study, and has been named by Cogent Reports as one of the most trusted utility brands in the U.S. More information: piedmontng.com. Follow Piedmont Natural Gas: Twitter, Facebook.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America's largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 8.2 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 50,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 28,000 people.
Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy transition to achieve its goals of net-zero methane emissions from its natural gas business by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions from electricity generation by 2050. The company has interim carbon emission targets of at least 50% reduction from electric generation by 2030, 50% for Scope 2 and certain Scope 3 upstream and downstream emissions by 2035, and 80% from electric generation by 2040. In addition, the company is investing in major electric grid enhancements and energy storage, and exploring zero-emission power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2022 "World's Most Admired Companies" list and Forbes' "World's Best Employers" list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.
Media contact: Jason Wheatley
Media line: 877.348.3612
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SOURCE Piedmont Natural Gas