SCRANTON, Pa. — Those of you who pay UGI for natural gas to heat your homes may have noticed a new line item on your most recent bills.
It has nothing to do with how much natural gas you're using; it has to do with the weather outside your home.
A Newswatch 16 viewer from Scranton noticed it and texted this question into Verify:
"I would like the Pennsylvania Gas Company to explain the Weather Normalization Adjustment. Why is this charge necessary? Especially when I get charged, and my next-door neighbor doesn't. We both have same outside temperature."
The Weather Normalization Adjustment started appearing on UGI natural gas bills in November.
To explain why it's there, we turned to these sources:
Last year, UGI asked the PUC for the OK to add a weather normalization adjustment, or WNA, to its natural gas bills.
After a long negotiation, the state agency approved a five-year pilot program for UGI to test out the WNA and crafted a formula to come up with the adjustment on each customer's bill.
The WNA will either add or subtract money from your gas bill between the months of October and May.
Here's how it works: If the average monthly temperature is 3% colder than normal, you'll receive a credit on your bill. If the average temperature is 3% warmer, you'll see a charge.
"It's really important to note that WNA is designed to be revenue neutral. It's not designed to be like a secret way for UGI to add money to your bill. It's really designed to help level off bills for customers and honestly to help level revenue for UGI because the cost of us maintaining our system is pretty much the same whether it's a colder than average month or a warmer than average month," said UGI spokesperson Joe Swope.
January 2023 was a warmer-than-average month for all of us.
According to the National Weather Service, this January was ten degrees warmer in the WNEP backyard than the 15-year average UGI uses to determine how much extra you might pay.
So, many of you likely saw a charge on your weather normalization adjustment on your most recent bill.
But what about the second part of our viewer's question?
You might have a WNA charge while your neighbor doesn't, even though the weather is the same for both of you. That's because the adjustment relates to the average temperature during your billing cycle, and your gas meter may be read on a different day than your neighbor's.
Swope told Verify the WNA will be in place for at least the next five years. After that, the PUC may ask the gas company to make some changes.
"It'll be evaluated to see what kind of impact it's had, to see if any modifications are necessary, you know, to then be decided if it will continue to be a permanent program," Swope added.
UGI is one of three gas companies in Pennsylvania that use a weather normalization adjustment. Gas customers in the Philadelphia area have had it on their bills for more than 20 years.
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