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Peak Usage Alert

Feb 13, 2021

Natural Gas In Peak Demand With Historic Weather Conditions

Extreme weather conditions are placing a high demand on natural gas supplies affecting the region, City Utilities, and its customers. This will have an impact on natural gas and electric supplies across the region.

“This is an unprecedented weather event that is impacting not only all of our customers, but natural gas utility customers throughout the Midwest,” said Gary Gibson, General Manager and CEO of City Utilities of Springfield, “our priority with every service we provide is to keep our customers safe and assured that we are doing all we possibly can during this severe winter event.”

Natural Gas wells are freezing in the southwest and limiting supply, causing suppliers to increase prices on remaining supplies of natural gas. Costs have risen from a market price of $3.00 per dekatherm rate to almost $400.00 per dekatherm. While CU purchases less than 25 percent of its natural gas supply from the market, this situation will likely have an impact on future utility bills. The remainder of natural gas for City Utilities customers comes from fixed price contracts and storage, which is purchased off-season.

In preparation of this event, City Utilities has taken the following steps to lessen the impact to customers, CU has initiated a Natural Gas Curtailment agreement with several commercial and industrial customers who have the ability to switch from natural gas to an alternate fuel source. This option immediately redirects supply to residential and other commercial customers, and will be in effect through 9:00 a.m. Tuesday but could be extended.

Additionally, City Utilities activated the Natural Gas Peak Shaving system which combines a supply of propane and air and is injected into the natural gas transmission system to assist with this peak demand. This will be the first time this system has been used and was put in place for such an event.

“We are asking our community to work together, as we have so many times in the past, to get through this peak period with as minimal impact as possible,” said Gibson. “We have already seen businesses volunteer to reduce their usage, and we are asking everyone else to do the same.”

There are a few steps you can take to help reduce the impact of this weather to your utility bill and help our community:

  • Turn down your thermostat at least 2 degrees from your normal setting. 68 degrees is the suggested average setting for winter.
  • Limit the use of natural gas fireplaces.
  • Limit the use of plug-in electric space heaters.
  • Turn down the temperature setting of your water heater.
  • Look for other opportunities within your home to lessen the use of electricity and natural gas during this short period.