Pay Close Attention to Your Natural Gas Bill and Your Usage This Winter
This winter, expect to see much higher natural gas prices in Maryland and across the nation, relative to prior recent winter periods. The current rates for the “commodity” portion of the bill—the price of the gas itself, excluding the utility’s cost for delivery—were almost twice as high as they were last winter and almost three times what they were the winter before that. These rates change from month to month, but they will probably stay high, and you should be prepared for very high heating bills this winter.
The Public Service Commission regulates how the utilities buy natural gas and the cost of gas delivery, but it does not regulate wholesale natural gas prices. The utilities pass through to us in our bills the wholesale gas commodity cost. While gas delivery rates generally are increasing as well, commodity prices, not delivery rates, are the primary reason for the recent and projected increases in natural gas prices.