The company provides gas to roughly 40,000 customers in Clark County, with the vast majority living within Springfield city limits.
Hardgrove said they have seen an increase in the natural gas supply over the past couple years leading to a decrease in prices at the market level. However, whether that will have an effect on the average customer’s heating bill also depends on regional weather patterns, he said.
“It just depends on the severity of this winter. We always hope for a calm winter season, but that is something that is out of our hands,” he said.
The News-Sun reported that year’s winter season is expected be milder than average and will likely bring more mixes of snow, rain, sleet and freezing rain compared to the last one.
Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio, which serves parts of Clark County, expects prices for their customers to be similar to those of last winter. Representatives of that company say that is in due to low market prices for natural gas.
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“In the event we experience normal winter weather – as we did last year – customers could see similar bill amounts this season thanks to continued low, stable natural gas prices,” said Richard Leger, with CenterPoint Energy, the parent company of Vectren. “Gas bills continue to remain very affordable compared to historic highs we’ve experienced in the past.”
The average Vectren customer paid $85 per month for natural gas service between November of last year and March, according to a news release from the company that serves 315,000 customers in the state.
“Keep in mind – Vectren is not a natural gas supplier. The customer’s natural gas supplier and corresponding price per unit of gas also influence bill amounts,” Leger said. “Some customers prefer a fixed price that won’t fluctuate over the winter while others prefer to stay on a variable rate, which changes according to the natural gas market. The price of natural gas represents around 50-55 percent of the bill during the winter months, so now is a good time to explore supplier pricing options.”
Facts & Figures
40,000: Number of Columbia Gas customers in Springfield
5-10: Projected percentage decrease in natural gas prices
65: Average dollar amount for Columbia Gas budget customers last winter
The Springfield News-Sun is committed to covering consumer issues and the impact on Clark County.