Henderson Municipal Gas customers expected to see bill increase this winter
Natural gas prices on the rise
HENDERSON, Ky. (WFIE) - Natural gas prices in the United States have been rising for several months, leading 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.
HMG Director, Tim Clayton says prices are greater than they were last year.
“Currently, prices are more than 100 percent greater than they were last year,” Clayton says. “This is mostly due to rising natural gas demands and issues in supply chain and storage.”
Clayton also says 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 says. “A combination of these issues has driven prices where they are now.”
Clayton also says colder than normal winters or early cold snap in the U.S. could drive prices even higher in the next couple months.
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.
Officials say 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.
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
- Check for leaks around windows, doors, and other openings to the outside. Seal these leaks with caulk and keep the warmth in.
- For the biggest savings, add insulation in the attic.
- Installing storm windows can also reduce heat loss through windows by approximately ten-20 percent.
Cover it up
- Cover bare floors with carpet.
- Wrap old water heaters with proper insulating jackets. Insulate your plumbing.
Clean it up
- Have your furnace inspected regularly by a qualified professional and change filters once per month.
- Make sure your dryer filter is lint free.
- Regularly change your air filter in your HVAC system.
Change your ways
- Wash cold. Whenever possible, use the cold water setting on your washing machine.
- When it’s cold outside but also sunny, open the blinds during the day to let the sun help heat your home.
- Save money by lowering your thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter. For every degree you lower your heat in the 60-degree to 70-degree range you’ll save up to five percent on heating costs.
- Consider installing a programmable thermostat to automate your HVAC system.
- Turn down the water heater. Set your water heater no higher than 120 degrees F.
- Cook up energy savings. Use a smaller pan if possible and put a lid on it so the food cooks faster. Use the microwave to heat food whenever possible.
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