Residential customers of UGI Utilities will see their bills rise 7.2 percent beginning Friday, the utility announced Thursday.
The average home-heating customer will see his monthly bill increase from $62.50 to $67.00, or $4.50, UGI said.
Pushing the total bill higher is a bump in the “purchased gas cost” portion, which reflects how much UGI pays to obtain the gas it delivers to homes, businesses and other buildings.
By law, utilities such as UGI are required to pass along this cost to consumers without a markup. The “purchased gas cost” portion of the bill is adjusted quarterly.
The uptick ends a streak of four consecutive quarterly drops, according to LNP files. In total, those four decreases lowered the average home-heating customer’s bill by about $10 a month.
This latest purchased gas cost change does not affect UGI’s ongoing request for a two-step boost to its base rates to help fund improvements to its distribution network, UGI spokesman Joe Swope said.
As UGI announced in late January, the utility is seeking a residential rate hike of 13.7 percent the first year, which would rise by 3.1 percentage points to 16.8 percent thereafter.
The state Public Utility Commission, which needs to approve such rate requests, on Thursday voted 5-0 to review the proposal, as it usually does in such cases. The review can take as long as seven months.
UGI provides natural gas to 85,000 customers in all categories in Lancaster County. They include 76,500 residential customers.
According to the 2017 American Community Survey, natural gas is the second most common fuel for home heating in Lancaster County.
Electricity is the most popular energy source for home heating, with 35.1 percent of Lancaster County’s 210,000 housing units heated with that method. Natural gas is second, at 31.8 percent.