Winter Natural Gas Prices: Same Or Lower Than Last Winter
October 9, 2014 — TheStatehouseFile.com
INDIANAPOLIS – Hoosiers in Central and parts of Southern Indiana could be seeing flat or slightly lower heating bills than last winter according to projections released Tuesday by Vectren Energy and Citizens Energy Group.
Both companies said that – when normalized for weather – prices for the five-month heating season should be similar to last year.
Last winter, customers saw an increase in heating costs due to the harsh winter conditions.
“The abundant supply of natural gas in the U.S. is keeping the price of this clean-burning fuel stable,” said Carey Lykins, president of Citizens Energy Group, which serves customers in Indianapolis. “Natural gas prices are about 25 percent lower than they were in 2008.”
Natural gas bills are based on wholesale fuel prices plus delivery and administrative rates approved by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. Utility companies pass along increases and decreases in wholesale gas prices to customers.
Citizen customers should expect to pay about $607 from November through March with typical usage, as opposed to last winter when bills averaged $680.
Vectren customers in the company’s northern territory – which includes Central Indiana and Southern Indiana north of Louisville – can expect an average bill of $550 per month with normal usage. Last year’s cold winter left customers with average bills totaling $615 over five months.
“While Vectren has always used normal weather to project year-over-year winter bill comparisons, the bitter temperatures experienced in the winter months of last year were anything but normal, nearly 20 percent colder than normal in fact,” said Mike Roeder, president of Vectren North. “Although the market points to continued low, stable natural gas pricing for years to come, customers should still implement energy efficiency measures and find ways to use less natural gas to lower bills even further.”