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Kansans will have to Pay Extra for Natural Gas this Winter

Remember those hefty gas bills last Winter, caused by frozen wells at supply sites during the Polar Vortex storm that began in early February, prompting the Harvey County Commission to proclaim a state of emergency in the county and several communities to seek low-interest state loans?

They resulted in lawsuits filed by school districts and planned fees imposed by utility companies. For members of the Kansas Municipal Gas Association, a consortium of 49 communities, the cost of gas increased from $3 per MMBTU to $622. Cities in the KMGA include Hesston, Halstead, Burrton, Walton, and Moundridge.

The consequences of this are still being felt, and it is possible that heating costs may rise this autumn and Winter.Natural gas prices are presently roughly twice what they were a year ago, and analysts expect that the price increases will persist at least through the Winter.Natural gas costs are passed directly on to customers by utility providers. As the wholesale price of natural gas rises, so will the monthly rate charged by your utility.This month’s Atmos Energy gas purchase charge is approximately $1.50 more than the previous year’s. It’s more than $3 higher at Black Hills Energy.

“Right now, we have a pretty tight market, with higher pricing indicating that additional (gas) supplies are needed on the market,” said Richard Meyer, vice-president of the American Gas Association, which represents natural gas utilities.According to the US Energy Information Agency, a few factors are putting pressure on natural gas supply, contributing to higher-than-normal natural gas prices.

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