Some say weather affects their mood. I believe that we can create our own weather – like having a sunny attitude on a cloudy day. In the utilities business, though, creating our own weather isn’t as possible. We can still choose great attitudes, but, the reality is, the weather outside has real impact on utilities. Weather can increase and decrease the use of our services, can cause system outages and can cause prices to fluctuate.
When you’re talking about natural gas prices even weather forecasts can cause changes. Just last month, unseasonably cold weather combined with low levels of gas in storage and the reality of more natural gas being exported, natural gas prices spiked. The week before Thanksgiving, natural gas was traded on the market at the highest levels since February 2014. Higher prices are expected to continue through the winter season.
It’s important to us, as your community-owned, not-for-profit utility to always be mindful of what’s happening with the natural gas market and plan as well as possible for price changes and mitigate their impacts.
We typically make adjustments, as necessary, on a quarterly basis to cover changes in fuel markets. We last made changes on Nov. 1 and anticipate another for February 1, 2019. Since we directly pass through changes to fuel costs (up or down) directly to our customers, we expect an increase this winter. And, then, we expect prices to come down for the following quarter, and anticipate passing that along May 1, 2019.
In the meantime, we’ll keep close watch on the markets and continue to concentrate on mitigating rising fuel costs as much as we can.
What can you do?
1. Be efficient with your use. Check out our no-cost/low cost tips to get the most out of your energy dollar.
2. Have a sunny outlook on a cloudy day.
3. Enjoy the holiday season.