MDU bumps up natural gas prices
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - As cold weather continues to make its way to the Black Hills, you may find your natural gas bill to be higher this winter than it was last year.
According to the Montana-Dakota Utilities 2022-23 natural gas price outlook, customers could see a $30 per month increase over the 2021-22 season, meaning a total increase of about $150 for the average residential customer over the five-month winter season.
This could be even higher, though. MDU says if the weather is 10% colder than average, customers can see about a $200, or $40 per month increase, or conversely, if it’s 10% warmer than average, customers would pay about $80 more for the season, or $16 per month.
They say the reasons for the increase include:
- Gas being used for electric generation during the summer because of the warmer weather.
- The war in Ukraine.
- Less gas was stored for the season.
”Natural gas has kind of seen some pressure ever since we came out of the pandemic,” said a Montana-Dakota Utilities spokesperson Mark Hanson. “Demand has increased more rapidly than what our supply was at the time and it has been that game of catch-up ever since.”
Hanson added that the price increase is because demand is outpacing the available supply.
He also laid out some of the ways that people can save on their gas bills during this time, including:
- Turning your thermostat down if you leave the house.
- Opening your drapes during the day to take advantage of the solar heat.
- Weather stripping windows and doors.
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