Expect to Pay More this Winter... Natural Gas Heating Bills Will be Bigger, But Supplies Are Okay

Heating costs are rising dramatically

In June, it looked like natural gas could be in short supply this winter - and carry premium prices. With the onset of Fall, some of those predictions have changed: supplies are adequate to meet the needs, but prices will definitely be higher than last year. At this point, weather is the biggest "unknown" factor which could impact both supplies and prices. Whether prices top the peak period of winter 2001-2002, remains to be seen. This winter's residential natural gas prices are expected to be 10 to 15 percent higher than last year. At the end of August, the East Region, which includes Nebraska, had an inventory of 1,418 billion cubic feet which is only seven percent below the five-year average for the region. Eastern Nebraskans served by Aquila will be paying even more because the utility has also increased rates, which are being reviewed. For those who want to monitor natural gas supply and price information, the Energy Office web site, #">, provides updates every month. According to experts at the Energy Information Administration, the long-range view for natural gas is volatility, both on prices and supplies.

Need Help or Can't Pay? If you — or someone you know — has struggled in the past with winter heating

Citizens with limited incomes can receive assistance

bills, there may be a solution before the bills get out of hand. There are several alternatives for those Nebraskans who have had difficulty paying for heating bills: #"> Home Energy Loans Energy Statistics mailto:energy1%40mail%2estate%2ene%2eus"> State of Nebraska Home disclaimer.htm"> Disclaimer feedback2.htm">Webmaster