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Industry experts warn of expected spike in gas bills this winter

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 8:00 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - You could face your highest gas bill in the last decade this winter. That warning comes from industry experts after natural gas prices spike. Customers should expect about a 25-percent increase in their gas bills this fall and winter, experts in Kansas say. The price of natural gas has recently doubled and that price likely will fall on customers this winter.

“If gas prices continue to spike, that just means an additional burden on consumers that they will have to meet, which calls into question, what can we do to try to decrease those costs, particularly for those vulnerable customers, such as low-income customers and fixed-income customers,” said David Nickel with the Citizens Utility Ratepayer Board. “And what gas utilities do in conjunction with the (Kansas Corporation Commission) to try to hedge around any increase in prices.”

Nickel predicts customers could see the 25-percent increase in their gas bills this winter if natural gas prices continue at current levels.

“In Kansas, we’ve seen them in the past 30 years periodically,” he said. “The real question is whether or not this is going to be a long-term spike or long-term trend in terms of prices or not.”

Ahead of the cold months, natural gas supplies are already low. And in Kansas, bills were already set to be higher this year because of extremely cold temperatures the state experienced in February. Utility companies were planning to spread that out over several years, but now those bills may be even higher than customers expected.

This time of year is when natural gas companies are trying to build supply, but gas companies are seeing a slow rebound in production after Hurricane Ida. What happens in the next couple months with production and prices will determine what kind of spike you might see on your winter bill.

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