All but two natural gas utilities doing business in the state will charge their customers more this winter following the recent approval of interim purchase gas rates by the state Public Service Commission.

A very small uptick in natural gas prices, what the utilities pay for gas, is the driver behind the increase in the rates charged per Mcf.

The two largest natural gas utilities, Mountaineer Gas and Dominion Energy, along with eight other companies will be allowed to increase their rates beginning Nov. 1. The new approved price for Mcf for Mountaineer Gas is nearly $4.80, a 47-cent increase over the current Mcf rate.

Mountaineer Gas residential customers use an average of 72 Mcfs a year. Dominion Energy has received approval to raise its rates by nearly $1.30 per Mcf, taking the company's overall rate to just less than $3.96 per Mcf. Customers of two small companies, A.V. Gas and Standard Gas, will actually charge their customers less this winter. The Public Service Commission will finalize the rates next year. The purchased gas rates make up just one part of the overall rate customers pay. The companies also have base rates that are regulated by the PSC.

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