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Natural gas companies explain why heating bills are up

Higher heating costs projected for this winter amid pandemic
Posted at 4:33 PM, Jan 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-26 19:59:46-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Many Kansas Citians have noticed higher heating bills than in years past.

To learn how customers can save money, the KSHB 41 I-Team spoke with Spire and Kansas Gas Service.

"What we're hearing from customers is that under this inflationary environment is that any increase is impactful," said Scott Weitzel with Spire.

Both companies contribute the increase to two main factors: greater energy use because it's the middle of winter paired with the cost of natural gas being up, too.

Inflation and the Russia-Ukraine conflict are factors as well, but the impact of a winter storm in 2021 is the biggest component.

"Winter Storm Uri put a strain on the energy market and caused extremely high prices, whether it's electric or natural gas, and we saw that," Weitzel said.

To save money, customers can weatherize their homes with a smart thermostat and a clean furnace.

"What we know is that a clean filter can lower energy consumption by 5% to 15%, so that can certainly make a difference in your natural gas bill," said Dawn Tripp with Kansas Gas Service.

Knowing what price to expect each month can be helpful for budgeting.

Both companies have programs that customers can sign up for based on a 12-month rolling average of past bills.