With the wholesale price of natural gas at a multi-year high, Sioux Center Municipal Utilities is advising customers to prepare for winter heating costs that are higher than recent years when the market saw lower-cost natural gas prices.
Sioux Center Municipal Utilities was able to lock in a more favorable price in advance for a portion of the community’s winter natural gas supply. However, SCMU is not able to lock in all of Sioux Center’s natural gas supply in advance, due to extreme fluctuation in usage. Final pricing is determined in part by how much natural gas the community demands as a whole.
“We will continue to provide more information about what to expect as we learn more about the upcoming winter season,” said Sioux Center Utilities Manager Murray Hulstein. “We have worked to lower the impact by pre-purchasing some of our natural gas, but we want customers to be prepared for anticipated higher prices this winter.”
SCMU customers’ gas rate is adjusted each month based on the difference between the planned and actual cost to purchase wholesale natural gas. The increase or decrease is the month's Gas Cost Adjustment, shown in customers’ utility bills. For most of the past year, SCMU has been able to provide natural gas below the planned cost. However, this is not likely to continue through the winter months due to current wholesale pricing.
To lessen the impact of higher natural gas prices, try these conservation steps:
- Consider a programmable thermostat to avoid heating an unused space.
- Make sure your furnace is running efficiently, including changing filters.
- Let the sunshine in. Keep shades on your windows open during the day to allow sunlight into your home.
- Weatherize your home to help conserve natural gas usage.
If customers expect to face difficulties as a result of the increased cost of heating this winter, we encourage them to contact Mid-Sioux Opportunity at (712) 722-3611.
We also remind all customers of our Project Share Program, in which customers can donate to assist other local residents with energy assistance, which is distributed through Mid-Sioux Opportunity.