Number of the Day: $160

November 18, 2011 | Number of The Day

Natural gas prices have fallen steeply of late due to the discovery of new natural gas deposits in the Marcellus Shale. One New Jersey utility has decided to take that windfall and return it to customers in the form of a credit. New Jersey Natural Gas, which serves 486,000 customers in Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex, Morris, and Burlington counties, notified the state Board of Public Utilities on Thursday that it planned to give an average $160 credit to residential and small business customers this winter.

The credit will save customers approximately $0.44 per therm and will be based on each customer’s usage during December and January. At current prices, the average customer will see its bill drop by 37 percent, from $433 to $273.

NJNG says it is able to offer the credit as a result of improvements in meter reading and revenue processes, as well as the drop in natural gas prices. The utility previously awarded a 9.3 percent reduction of customer’s bills in October.