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Rising natural gas prices expected to increase heating bills this Winter

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 6:50 PM EDT
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CLARKSBURG, W.Va (WDTV) - Experts says the increase is because of lower storage levels of natural gas heading into the heating season.

Prepare to pay more for heating this winter, along with seemingly everything else.

“Bills are going up,” said resident Resident Angie Sayer.

Sayer says there’s only one thing her and her husband dread more than the cold weather, the price they pay for heat.

“Our house is total electric and what we ended up doing was going to a budget to try to even it out so that it didn’t hit us so badly in the winter time because they’re bad in the winter.”

The U.S. Government announced it expects households to see their heating bills jump as much as 54% compared to last winter.

While the mountain state is likely to affected, Dominion Energy West Virginia says their price increases won’t be that high.

“Our typical residential customer will see an average increase on their monthly bill of about $3.14 or 4.06 percent of their total bill.”

Christine Mitchell with Dominion Energy West Virginia says the gas rate increase will take effect November 1 and reflects the current natural gas market conditions and price projections.

“Last winter, we had a very cold winter and we made above average withdrawals from our underground storage and we followed that up by a very hot summer which caused an increase demand for electricity for cooling costs which causes increased gas consumption,” said Mitchell.

The forecast from the U.S. Energy information administration is the latest reminder of the higher inflation ripping across the global economy.

“I can see it coming, I’m watching, especially with the gas prices, you know, you can get watch it.”

Dominion Energy offers a list of options for customers who experience high winter bills.

DOMINION ENERGY PAYMENT PLANS:

Dominion Energy offers a number of different options for customers who are experiencing high winter bills. Customers can make arrangements by contacting 1-800-688-4673. Contacting early may provide more options. Some accommodations include: • Budget Billing: a convenient option to avoid seasonal fluctuations in bills. The amount you pay on your Dominion Energy natural gas bill will be the same every month, making budgeting easier. • Flexible payment plans: help spread payments out and make them more manageable.

DOLLAR ENERGY:

Dollar Energy Fund is a 501 (c) 3 organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for households experiencing hardships by providing utility assistance and other services that lead to self-sufficiency. The program is for those facing financial hardship, who have exhausted all other forms of energy assistance. The Salvation Army administers the program.

GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS:

• 2-1-1 West Virginia If you’re past due on your energy bill or facing disconnection of your gas service, dial 2-1-1. Trained professionals can provide referrals to resources for basic human needs, childcare, elder care, housing assistance and more. Help is available 24/7.

• LIEAP The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) assists low-income households with the cost of home heating through direct payments to utility companies on their behalf.

• Emergency LIEAP The emergency component will open following the close of Regular LIEAP and will continue until remaining funds are exhausted.

• Weatherization Assistance The West Virginia Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) manages the state’s weatherization assistance program to help reduce energy costs Improvements like insulation, with funds from the U.S. Department of Energy, LIHEAP and utility partnerships. OEO contracts with community agencies that employ trained weatherization crews to install insulation, reduce air-infiltration, perform heating and cooling tune-ups and modifications, and when appropriate, replace heating units for energy efficiency and safety. Education is also provided on use and maintenance.

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