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Higher Natural Gas Market Prices Expected

Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Cedar Falls Utilities cautions customers that high natural gas market prices will impact utility bills during the upcoming winter. We want to help you prepare for the heating season. 

Natural gas market prices have more than doubled from this time last year, and higher prices are forecasted to continue. This has increased the cost for utilities across the country to purchase natural gas provided to customers. Learn more about why gas prices are up. 

Like many utilities, CFU has a variable charge on utility bills that reflects the market price of gas. The Purchased Gas Adjustment (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. 

CFU has taken steps to protect customers from extreme natural gas price swings like our community experienced in February 2021. CFU has agreements in place that shield customers as much as possible from price volatility. We have worked with our gas supplier to stabilize daily and monthly gas prices. 

Despite these efforts, natural gas bills will likely be higher this heating season because of market conditions. 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 include infrastructure and administrative costs. As a community-owned utility CFU does not profit from customer rates.

There are steps you can take to reduce energy usage and save money. CFU offers cost-sharing rebates to help customers install energy-efficient equipment and make insulation and other thermal envelope improvements.

Changes in your behavior can also make a difference:

  • Use a programmable thermostat to turn the temperature down when you are away from home or asleep. CFU offers a rebate for smart WiFi enabled thermostats that can do this automatically. 
  • Wash clothes with cold water to reduce energy used to make hot water.
  • 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. 
  • Consider adding attic insulation if your home was built before 2010. Visit cfu.net/rebates for details. 

CFU Energy Services wants to remind customers that electric space heaters are always the most expensive and risky way to heat a home. 

For more information about energy-saving rebate programs and other tips, contact Energy Services at 319-266-1761 or energyservices@cfunet.net

Customer Assistance
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. Help for customers includes the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and special assistance for customers dealing with COVID-19 related circumstances.

Sign up for Budget Billing
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 customerservice@cfunet.net.