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Spire customers in Kansas City will see higher heating bills this winter

Bills expected to increase $25 on average
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Posted at 1:00 PM, Nov 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-30 14:00:45-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Spire customers in the Kansas City area should expect to see higher bills beginning next month.

The natural-gas utility company — which services more than two dozen counties in western Missouri, including Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte counties — requested substantial increases in what it charges customers as part of a “purchased gas adjustment.”

The Missouri Public Service Commission approved the rate increase Monday, signing off on nearly doubling the rate for western Missouri, including the Kansas City area.

The price Spire West customers pay per cubic foot of gas will jump from 40.4 cents to more than 79.3 cents, an increase of 96.2%. Customers should expect to pay roughly $24.36 more per month this winter.

For eastern Missouri, the rate will bump up from 37.1 cents to 58.8 cents, an increase of 58.2%. Bills in the Spire East region are expected to jump about $14.52.

“Such bill impacts may be less or more depending on a customer’s actual usage, which is primarily affected by weather,” Spire said in a Nov. 12 filing with the commission. "The company does not mark up any natural gas supply costs, and passes on those costs dollar for dollar on customer bills.”

Spire blamed last winter’s polar vortex, which plunged the Midwest and Central Plains into the deep freeze, for the price increases it is passing along to customers.

“This change in the cost of gas reflects the price increase that the gas market has experienced starting with winter storm Uri in February 2021,” Spire said in its initial filing.

Uri wreaked havoc on the Southwest Power Pool’s energy grid and turned deadly in Texas, but Spire said it believes natural-gas costs will drop in subsequent winters.

“Fortunately, market reports indicate that natural gas prices are declining for future winter periods, and we are hopeful the current increase in gas costs is a short term holdover from this year’s polar vortex,” Spire said.

The revised cost for natural gas goes into effect Tuesday, Nov. 30.