Expect a Higher Gas Bill

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Expect a Higher Gas Bill

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November 19, 2018

On November 5 something very strange happened. The price of natural gas in the natural gas futures market went up by 25 cents in just one day. With the exception of one day since then the price has been rising dramatically every day. This was totally unforeseen by the experts. The reasons suspected are the combination of lower than usual temperatures this early in the fall, and a lower than average amount of gas in storage to be used during the winter. The latter was not supposed to have an effect on prices because this has been known to be the case for quite some time. However the traders decided to freak out anyway and this is the result. By the way, if you are really interested in getting an expanded view of what’s going on we suggest you read John Funk’s article in the Sunday, November 18 Plain Dealer on the first page of the Business section.
Now the bad news in terms of numbers. We expected prices to be around $3.30 during the winter.
Instead, there is a good chance that the rate on your January Dominion bill will be around $4.65 and stay in the $4.00 range through your April bill. If temperatures moderate during the winter it is our opinion that rates could go down again, hopefully as rapidly and to the degree that they have gone up.
As you know, this column has steadfastly advised to always have a variable rate for natural gas. We stuck with that because no one saw this increase coming. HOWEVER, many of the for profit companies who advertise fixed rates don’t give you a good deal in the first place, but worse, they have a nasty little habit of jacking of your rate big time at the conclusion of the contract. If you’re not paying attention you’ll be automatically renewed at a much higher rate. Many times people have called and asked why their rate was so high and nine times out of ten that was the reason.
We expect that people will see this sticker shock on their January bills and wonder what is going on.
We continue to urge Brecksville residents to have NOPEC for your natural gas service. If you don’t, or if you have any question about natural gas or electricity you can call Ted at 526-2499.
As usual this column is solely the opinion of Ted Lux and not necessarily that of the Mayor or City Council.

The opinions expressed in this advisory are solely those of Ted Lux and are not endorsed by the Mayor or City Council of the City of Brecksville.