Summit Natural Gas of Maine is dropping its rates by nearly 70 percent because of mild winter temperatures and declining natural gas prices nationally.

The Public Utilities Commission on Monday approved Summit’s request to drop its rate per therm from 83 cents to 26 cents, a 68 percent decrease, according to a news release from the company.

The rate will be retroactive to March 1 and will stay in place until Oct. 1.

In a statement, company spokesperson Lizzy Reinholt said the reduction was triggered by mild temperatures this winter and a 30 percent drop in natural gas rates nationally in the last six months.

“At Summit we are committed to providing reliable, safe, clean-burning fuel choice for Mainers,” Reinholt said. “We aim at working to continuously provide our customers with more predictable and affordable natural gas prices and our current reduction in cost is another example of how we are living up to that commitment.”

Summit buys gas for its customers throughout the year and adjustments to account for changing weather and market conditions are common, according to the company.

Summit provides gas service to residential and commercial customers in parts of Kennebec and Cumberland counties. It covers the towns of Gardiner, Hallowell, Augusta, Fairfield, Waterville, Madison, Farmingdale, Randolph, Falmouth, Yarmouth and Cumberland.

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