HENDERSON, Ky. – Natural gas prices in the United States have been rising for several months, leading local officials with Henderson Municipal Gas to let customers know to expect increases in the natural gas portion of their utility bill of around 40-50 percent during this winter’s heating season.
“Currently, prices are more than 100 percent greater than they were last year,” said Tim Clayton, HMG director. “This is mostly due to rising natural gas demands and issues in supply chain and storage.”
He said that increased usage of natural gas in power production and warmer than normal temperatures this summer have driven high demand for natural gas in power plants.
Another factor is that the economy began picking back up over the summer with more natural gas being consumed in industrial settings. Hurricanes have also affected production of natural gas.
“These factors, and others, led to less natural gas being injected into storage fields for the winter heating season,” Clayton said. “A combination of these issues has driven prices to where they are now.”
He said a colder than normal winter or early cold snap in the U.S. could drive prices even higher in the next couple of months.
What can consumers do to help manage the situation?
The City of Henderson recommends that customers take advantage of programs that are in place to help with these increases, such as budget billing and utility assistance programs.
Customers who haven’t had any late payments for the last 12 months qualify for budget billing, which averages the last 12 bills and adds a contingency for rate increases and atypical weather. Utility customers pay the average amount each month.
Steps can also be taken to reduce the amount of energy needed to heat your home this winter.
Some things that can be done to conserve, whether you use natural gas to heat your home or simply have a few gas-fueled appliances:
Seal it up
Cover it up
Clean it up
Change your ways
Some links to articles about conservation can be found on Henderson Municipal Gas’s Facebook page.