High Natural Gas Costs: What CU is Doing to Help
Across the globe, there is an increased demand for natural gas. In addition, compounding supply chain issues and extreme climate conditions contribute to the increased market prices that utilities pay for natural gas. In August of 2021, the market cost of natural gas was lower than $4.00 per million BTU. Currently, that cost is well over $8.00 for the same amount. Because of the purchasing and storage strategies City Utilities has in place, the cost we pay as a community utility is lower than those market prices. However, these increases will impact your winter heating bills.
As your neighbors, we understand the impact the increased cost of goods and services has on your budget as it affects our families, too. As prices continue to go up, we are all looking for ways to reduce costs. By reaching out to you now, we hope we can help you better prepare for the winter and provide tips to lessen the impact of these costs on your household or business.
You will hear more about this issue as the seasons begin to change, but we feel it’s important to reach out to you before you begin heating your home this fall. We want to assure you that City Utilities is doing everything we can to control these costs. If you need help with your bill, we encourage you to contact our Customer Service team so we can discuss options such as payment arrangements or available community programs for financial assistance.
As always, we are looking for more ways to help you to save on energy bills this winter and beyond. Energy-saving tips and rebates are available on our website. You can find account-specific information by using your MY ACCOUNT customer portal. This site allows you to learn more about your usage habits and how much natural gas, water, and electricity you use on an hourly, daily, or monthly basis. MY ACCOUNT also gives you the opportunity to receive alerts on outages and set up your contact preferences.
It is our commitment to continue to connect you to reliable utilities. If you have any questions about how the natural gas market may impact your account, please contact our Customer Service team at (417) 863-9000.
Prepare Your Home for the Heating Season
Here’s how you can get ready for the winter now by making your home more energy efficient.
- You may be losing energy when heating your home through air leaks. Now is the time to check for, then caulk and weather-strip, holes and cracks around your walls, ceilings, windows, doors, light and plumbing fixtures, switches, and electrical outlets that can leak air into or out of your home.
- Proper insulation helps keep your home warm during winter. Check the insulation levels in your attic, ceilings, exterior and basement walls, floors, and crawl spaces to see if it meets recommended levels.
- Consider installing a smart thermostat to easily make adjustments when you are not home. Save on your heating costs by lowering the temperature while you are away.
- Save 3-5% of your heating costs for each degree you set your thermostat below your normal setting.
- Water heating is the third largest energy expense in your home, and typically accounts for about 12% of the energy consumed. You should turn down the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees, or the warm setting, and insulate it and your pipes.
- Clean or replace air return filters two to three times during summer and winter.
- About 80-85% of the energy used for washing clothes is used to heat the water; reduce this by washing full loads only – and using cooler water with cold-water detergents. Lowering the temperature setting from hot to warm cuts a load’s energy use in half.
- City Utilities offers a variety rebates to help with the cost of making energy-efficient improvements to your home or business.