Wisconsin Public Service Expects Natural Gas Prices to be Slightly Higher This Winter Season
As of the end of September 2007, Wisconsin Public Service predicts natural gas prices will be about two percent higher this winter over last winter. The difference amounts to about $10 over the course of the winter heating season (November 1 – March 31).
“With the expected prices, the typical residential customers would pay about $750 for that period,” said WPS spokesperson Kerry Spees. “Of course, weather plays a huge part in the actual bills for our customers.”
Spees said natural gas supplies are adequate for winter. WPS has already bought and stored about one-third of the natural gas it expects to use this season. For the remainder of its needs, WPS must purchase gas on the open market. “As everyone knows, predicting the weather is hardly an exact science,” he said. “The biggest factor in natural gas volatility is temperature. Other factors include disasters like Hurricane Katrina that disrupt natural gas production and transportation.”
“If we get much-colder-than-normal weather, especially at the beginning of the heating season, prices could shoot up,” Spees said. “On the other hand, if we get a nice mild entry into the heating season, prices are likely to stay stable or even fall a bit. Let’s all hope for some mild weather.”
WPS encourages all customers who have in the past or who might now be eligible for energy assistance to contact their county energy assistance programs and/or other community agencies as soon as possible. “As always, funds are limited and are provided on a first-come, first-served basis, so applying as early in the heating season as possible is very important,” said Spees.
If customers fall behind on their utility bills, they should contact the company promptly. “Customers who work with us have a better likelihood of keeping service on,” Spees said.
On its Web site, www.wisconsinpublicservice.com, WPS has ideas for saving energy as well as information on its Budget Billing Plan, which allows customers to pay an average bill monthly instead of seasonal high and low bills. Customers who would like more information on programs and energy conservation, as well as those who have problems paying their utility bill should call 1-800-450-7260.
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