Charlotte-based Piedmont Natural Gas has asked regulators in both Carolinas to reduce its rates, saving residential customers $8 to $10 on their February bills.
The falling rates are due to dropping wholesale prices, the cost Piedmont pays, for natural gas. New U.S. reserves are being tapped by the techniques called hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, sending more gas to markets.
The rate changes, if approved, would take effect Feb. 1 and reduce residential rates by 7.5 percent to 9.5 percent.
Since 2008, Piedmonts residential rates in the Carolinas have dropped 30 percent by 40 percent. Assuming the latest rate change is approved, February bills will be $45 to $75 less for the same usage than in 2008.
Piedmont serves 1 million customers in parts of the Carolinas and Tennessee.