Extreme Cold Impacts Natural Gas Prices

January 12, 2024

CFU is prepared for the frigid temperatures forecasted this weekend. Our crews are ready to respond to any outages or emergencies. We also have a close eye on natural gas and electric markets.

We want to let customers know that natural gas market prices will be very high over the next few days. High market prices are expected to have a noticeable impact on utility bills. Based on current projections, we expect bills to be similar to winter 2023.

Like many utilities, CFU has a Purchased Gas Adjustment (PGA) on utility bills that reflects the market price of gas. That charge fluctuates up and down based on the wholesale price CFU pays for the gas it provides to customers.

To keep prices as steady as possible, CFU utilizes contracts to mitigate market fluctuations. We’ve locked in a low monthly price for a significant portion of the gas we buy to supply to the community, about 75% of our normal monthly usage.

Some gas cannot be locked in at a low price. On really cold days, our customers use twice as much natural gas as they do on an average winter day. That’s because many furnaces must run 100% of the time when it’s bitter cold to keep homes at a comfortable temperature.

The extra gas customers use on really cold days is purchased on a daily market. Daily market prices will be higher this week because demand is higher. This affects utilities across the country.

More Info

More about the PGA

The Purchased Gas Adjustment (PGA) appears on your natural gas bill. The total reflects the cost of the natural gas a customer uses. If your billed usage occurs both before and after the first of the month, your effective PGA will be calculated for the number of days each PGA was in effect.

The PGA fluctuates up and down based on the wholesale price CFU pays for the gas it provides to customers. CFU does not mark up what we pay for natural gas. The cost of the gas commodity is a pass-through to customers, so if gas market costs go up or down so does the PGA.

Higher market costs do not affect CFU’s base rates, which include infrastructure and administrative costs.

Energy Savings Tips

Follow the tips below to help keep your home warm and save energy this winter.

  • Use a programmable thermostat to turn the temperature down when you are away from home or asleep. CFU offers a 100% cost-share rebate, up to $100, for smart WiFi enabled thermostats that can do this automatically. (Learn more at cfu.net/rebates.)
  • Let the sun work for you. Keep curtains and blinds open on sunny winter days, especially on the south side of your home. Closed curtains can also double as insulators at night.
  • Check window latches, secure all doors and turn off ventilation fans after use.
  • Consider the cost or necessity before using gas fireplaces or garage or bonus space heaters.