September 2023 Board Update
CU Customers Expected to Pay Less for Utilities This Fall and Winter
Lower bills are expected for many City Utilities customers in the coming months, thanks to lower market prices for natural gas this year and lower actual fuel costs for electricity last year.
Lower Natural Gas Prices
Market prices for natural gas continue to be much lower than this time last year and that trend is projected to continue this winter. Based on current projections, CU residential natural gas customers using an average of 127 therms of natural gas each month can expect to see an estimated decrease of approximately $40 per month during the heating months of December through March.
Natural gas bills will also be lower this winter thanks to the pay-off of unprecedented fuel costs associated with Winter Storm Uri in 2021. To reduce the burden on customers, the additional costs were spread out on customer bills over two years. That cost recovery is now complete, resulting in lower bills for customers.
Semi-Annual Electric Fuel Cost Adjustment
CU electric customers will also see lower prices this fall and winter. From October 2023 through March 2024, CU electric customers will pay slightly less than the previous period of April through September. The decrease is based on adjusting for the actual fuel cost from the prior six months and incorporating forecasted fuel costs over the next six months. Based on the fuel cost adjustment, electric customers will pay $3.90 less per 1,000 kWh than the last six months, and $15.20 less per 1,000 kWh as compared to October 2022 through March 2023.
These routine adjustments, up or down, occur every six months. The fuel adjustment rate directly reflects the fluctuating cost of fuel to generate power.
Water Rate Adjustment
Effective with the October billing cycle, water customers of City Utilities will see the first of three annual rate adjustments on the water usage portion of their bill. The 5.3% increase, which includes 0.8 % for the required Missouri Water Primacy Fee, was approved by the Board of Public Utilities and City Council in 2022 and is designed to cover increased operating and maintenance costs of the water utility. The average monthly residential bill increase will be approximately $2 per month for the first phase of this adjustment from October 2023 through September 2024.
Despite this increase, customers who rely on City Utilities for electricity, natural gas, and water should see an overall decrease in their monthly utility bills this winter.