National Fuel customers can expect to see a slight increase in their gas bills over the coming months.

National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp. recently submitted its quarterly adjustment to gas supply charges to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. The adjustment increases the monthly bill of a typical residential customer with annual usage of 100,300 cubic feet of gas by $1.14 - from $66.51 to $67.65.

The 1.71 percent increase went into effect on Feb. 1.

National Fuel's price-to-compare gas commodity charge also will increase to $0.35918 per 100 cubic feet (ccf). This reference point, detailed on the National Fuel bill under "Gas Supply Charges," is important for customers who are shopping for an alternate gas supplier.

Pennsylvania utility companies are permitted to update gas supply charges on a quarterly basis to reflect changes in the market price of natural gas. The next opportunity to adjust gas supply charges will be May 1, 2020.

Corry-area residents who are having trouble paying their gas bills can contact National Fuel about a variety of payment programs and services the company provides, including the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which is still open.

Eligibility for this federally funded program is based on income guidelines and household size. For example, a family of four with a gross annual income of $38,625 may qualify for a grant.

The 2019-2020 income guidelines for LIHEAP, including household size and monthly gross income, are as follows: 1 - $1,561; 2 - $2,113; 3 - $2,666; 4 - $3,218; and 5 - $3,771.

Monies are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. For additional information, visit www.LIHEAPhelps.com or contact 1-877-443-2743.

National Fuel customers who are having trouble paying their bills can call its customer service at 800-365-3234 to discuss available payment programs and services, such as:

. Budget Plan - predictable monthly gas bills and stabilized heating payments for the year.

. Deferred Payment Agreement - customers can negotiate a payment plan in the event of a special circumstance.

. LIRA - reduced-rate monthly bills and debt forgiveness.

. LIURP - weatherization assistance for customers who meet income and consumption requirements.

. CARES - payment arrangements and assistance referrals for customers facing hardships.

. Neighbor For Neighbor Heat Fund - helps customers who are having difficulty paying bills and who meet one of the following criteria: at least 55 years old, a veteran, disabled, have a certified medical condition, or receiving unemployment benefits, meet basic energy needs.

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