Increases in Natural Gas Market Prices May Impact Winter Utility Bills
on Tuesday, December 28, 2021
Cedar Falls Utilities cautions customers that high natural gas market prices will impact utility bills during the upcoming winter.
The natural gas pricing we are experiencing this year is much different than the temporary price spike from February 2021. In February we experienced a week of extremely high prices due to winter storm Uri which caused wells to freeze and limit the supply of natural gas. This winter we are experiencing a general, across the board price increase in natural gas on a monthly basis.
CFU has taken steps to protect customers from future extreme natural gas price swings. Agreements are in place that stabilize daily and monthly gas prices which will help shield customers as much as possible from price volatility like we experienced in 2021.
Despite these efforts, natural gas bills will likely be higher this heating season. While natural gas costs have decreased since October, costs are still trending higher than we have seen in recent years due to market conditions. This means utilities across the country pay more for the natural gas needed to provide to customers.
Like many utilities, CFU has a variable charge on utility bills that reflects the market price of gas known as the Purchased Gas Adjustment (PGA). 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.
Utility bill impacts will vary by customer usage, winter temperatures and continued market fluctuations.
Higher energy costs do not affect CFU’s base rates, which will stay the same this year and include infrastructure and administrative costs. As a community-owned utility CFU does not profit from customer rates.
There are resources available if you need assistance with heating costs. Cedar Falls Utilities encourages any customer facing financial hardship to call Customer Service at 319-268-5281.
Customers can also sign up for CFU’s budget billing plan to level out the seasonal ups and downs of heating and cooling costs.
This is accomplished by dividing a customer's estimated annual utility charge into 12 equal payments.
For more information and to sign up, call Customer Service at 319-268-5280 or email email@example.com.
Natural Gas Market Key Takeaways
- CFU has agreements in place to help shield customers from the cost of extreme weather events like February 2021 which resulted in a temporary spike in price of natural gas
- Limited investment in new oil drilling sites and extreme weather events have caused a limited supply of natural gas causing overall market prices to increase
- An increase in natural gas market prices mean all utilities pay more for the natural gas needed to provide to customers
- An increase in natural gas market prices may impact your utility bill in the form of the Purchased Gas Adjustment (PGA) which is a variable charge based on what CFU pays for natural gas
- CFU does not mark up what we pay for natural gas nor do we profit from customer rates
- Utility bill impacts will vary by customer usage, winter temperatures and continued market fluctuations