Natural gas utilities use a variety of techniques to manage natural gas prices and supplies. Gas purchasing strategies differ from utility to utility. Depending on their respective purchasing strategies, each utility uses different benchmarks to determine how much to charge customers at any given time.
Gas purchasing is an important aspect of our efforts to reduce costs. Through our marketers, we purchase gas directly on the open market and pay to have it transported to our system. Because gas prices go up and down so rapidly, and dramatically, we take a systematic, disciplined and structured approach to our energy purchases. Our purchasing policy allows for longer-term planning, with purchases being made several months into the future when prices are favorable. This purchasing strategy allows Greenville Utilities the best opportunity to offer our customers price stability and protection from the ups and downs of the market. The goal of our purchasing strategy is to keep rates as stable and competitive as we possibly can, and we have been successful in doing so.
GUC does not profit from fluctuations in gas costs. All costs associated with increases or decreases in the commodity price of natural gas are normally passed along to customers on a dollar-for-dollar basis. In other words, we simply "track" the increases or decreases to our customers. Current rates