Wholesale natural gas prices are much higher than the past several years, and Sioux Center Municipal Utilities wants to inform customers of what to anticipate this winter.
The market price for natural gas has increased by 150% over the past 12 months. There are several reasons. There is increased demand for natural gas to be used in electric power generation and for exports of liquified natural gas to European and Asian markets, where prices are even higher. In addition, several new pipeline projects to bring natural gas to the U.S. marketplace have been canceled.
Sioux Center Municipal Utilities has been able to lock in a favorable price in advance for a portion of our winter natural gas supply. However, SCMU can’t lock in prices in advance for the fluctuating daily peak usage times.
Because of this significant price increase, customers can expect the cost of natural gas in Sioux Center to also increase and impact utility bills for the time being. Wholesale market prices and weather are beyond our control, but we at Sioux Center Municipal Utilities are not increasing delivery cost of bringing natural gas to your home and/or business.
To lessen the impact of higher natural gas prices, try these conservation steps:
- Discontinue unnecessary natural gas use.
- Consider a programmable thermostat to avoid heating an unused space. Sioux Center Municipal Utilities offers a $25-75 rebate when you install an Energy Star smart thermostat. Learn more about that rebate: https://www.brightenergysolutions.com/municipalities-container/ia/sioux-center-municipal-utilities/?rebatetype=Home
- 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 you expect to face difficulties as a result of the increased cost of heating this winter, we encourage you 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.