Natural Gas Rates Go Up in November

Natural gas rates will go up next month under new rates. The PUC approved an overall increase of $5.3 million, or 8.5%.

The company said the monthly bill of a typical customer using 62 therms per month will increase by $3.89, or 8.3%. It is from $46.69 to $50.58. Commercial customers who average 264 therms per month will increase by $17.96, or 11.5%, from $156.73 to $174.69. Industrial customers using an average 1,748 therms per month will increase by $135.50, or 13.8%, from $983.63 to $1,119.13.

In a statement, the PUC said the cost of the natural gas supply spiked over the last year. This is due to a pipeline explosion last winter, which cut the regional gas supply and caused prices to increase. The state allows companies to pass along their purchase costs to customers without a markup on the price.

Monthly average natural gas prices at most key regional trading hubs in 2019. It reached its highest levels in February, and they were relatively low and stable from April through December. In the Northeast, additional imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) into New England limited price spikes during the winter of 2018–19. Despite a cold snap in the Midwest in February 2019, natural gas prices at Chicago Citygate were lower than during previous extreme weather events.

However, in the Pacific Northwest, unseasonably cold weather at the end of winter coupled with regional supply constraints. It and decreased storage inventories led to significant price spikes at the Northwest Sumas hub in March. Additional pipeline takeaway capacity in the Permian region eased some infrastructure constraints and increased regional prices at the Waha hub in western Texas after six consecutive months of prices lower than $1/MMBtu (March through August).

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