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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—are 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.

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Low-Income Marylanders at Risk From High Energy Burdens, OPC Report Shows

BALTIMORE – New data shows that Maryland low-income households continue to face untenable burdens from high energy bills, according to a new update of the Office of People’s Counsel’s 2018 Maryland Low-Income Market Characterization Report. Households on the Eastern Shore and in Baltimore City face the highest burdens in the State, the data show.

“Low-income households are not receiving the energy assistance they need,” said People’s Counsel David S. Lapp. “These households face unaffordable home energy burdens that adversely affect human health, perpetuate chronic poverty, and contribute to homelessness.”

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Assistant People's Counsel Special Appointment

The Maryland Office of People’s Counsel seeks a creative, energetic attorney to join it in advocating, amid climate change, for the economic and environmental interests of the State’s residential consumers of public utility services such as electricity and natural gas. Our attorneys work at the dynamic intersection of energy law, economics, and environmental policy, developing policy positions as well as litigating public utility matters. We work to hold utilities accountable for their performance and to ensure Maryland consumers are protected against unjust and unreasonable rate increases for services, while also advocating for policies that further the State’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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