CenterPoint Energy: Expect higher natural gas bills this winter

Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 1:00 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 4, 2021 at 7:08 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Those who use natural gas to keep their homes warm should expect to see their bills rise as temperatures go down.

CenterPoint Energy warned customers Thursday that they should expect an increase in their natural gas heating bills.

The utility, which serves approximately 400,000 residential and business customers in Arkansas, attributed the increase to natural gas market conditions.

Based on expected commodity costs and normal winter weather, Thursday’s news release said CenterPoint Entergy’s Arkansas customers can expect to pay an average of $131 this winter. Last year’s average monthly bill was about $92.

Last month, the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Winter Fuels Outlook report predicted prices for all fuels to be higher than in recent winters.

“Rising wholesale commodity prices for natural gas, crude oil, and petroleum products are being passed through to retail prices,” the report said. “Although we attribute price increases over the past year to several factors, the main reason wholesale prices of natural gas, crude oil and petroleum products have risen is that fuel demand has increased from recent lows faster than production.”

“We encourage our customers to prepare now for the winter heating season ahead,” said Cindy Westcott, CenterPoint Energy vice president for Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Westcott added that the company offers payment assistance and energy efficiency improvements to help customers manage their heating costs.

“Even with higher natural gas prices this winter heating season, bills should still remain lower than customers experienced in the late 2000s when natural gas prices were at record levels nationwide,” she said.

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