By MARK HARRINGTON
Updated February 27, 2015 9:09 PM

 

PSEG electric transmission lines on Waltress Road in Ronkonkoma on Jan. 29, 2015. Photo Credit: Heather Walsh

PSEG Long Island said Friday it will reduce the power supply charge portion of customer bills by 11.5 percent in March, the third straight month of decline.

The reduction could mean a $9.23 savings for average residential customers during the month, although fluctuations in customer use could swing average bills higher or lower.

The company cited lower projected fuel prices for the month. Most Long Island power plants run on natural gas.

The three reductions this year follow an increase in the charge of more than 80 percent in the last three months of 2014. The charge includes the current cost of fuel and purchased power, along with recoveries for under collections from prior months.

The March power supply charge is dropping to 9.18 cents a kilowatt hour, PSEG said, from 10.37 cents in February and 10.5 cents in January.

The company took over the power supply function from LIPA in January, promising to stabilize the often volatile charge.

“The March 2015 power supply charge has decreased due, in large part, to projected lower fuel prices for the month of March as compared to actual February gas prices,” Paul Napoli, PSEG Long Island vice president of power markets, said in a statement.

PSEG said the power supply charge is affected by market prices and the weather, but notes that the “largest factor in determining a customer’s bill is how much electric is used.”

PSEG, in a recent mass email, urged customers to “stay in control of winter bills” by switching to LED light bulbs, using energy-managing power strips and “adding a layer of clothing first for comfort with no extra cost,” before raising the thermostat.