WICHITA, Kan. — Nov. 23, 2021 — As winter heating season begins, Black Hills Energy is urging customers to plan now for the impacts of higher natural gas prices. Just as commodity prices are rising globally on many items ranging from the bacon in our breakfast to the cotton in our clothes, the same is true for the increase in market prices for the energy used to warm our homes during the coldest months of the year.
Black Hills Energy estimates that residential natural gas customers should plan for an increase of approximately 57% in their total bill compared to last winter, based on analysis of typical winter weather, market conditions, current natural gas price forecasts, and costs from February’s extreme winter event. Actual monthly costs will depend on customer usage.
The cost of natural gas is the largest portion of customers’ bills during the winter heating season and is also a pass-through cost – meaning Black Hills Energy does not make money on natural gas, even when prices increase. As an investor-owned utility, the company works with state regulatory agencies to ensure our gas supply procurement plans balance our commitment to providing safe, reliable service to our customers while also striving to mitigate the financial impacts of market volatility.
Customers who may need help paying their monthly bill can also reach out to Black Hills Energy to connect with a local energy assistance partner agency.
Black Hills Energy customers can consider options like Budget Billing, a payment plan that averages the amount owed each month. This budget option supports customers looking to avoid the seasonal variances in bills by averaging out their usage over a 12-month period. The company also encourages simple, yet effective energy conservation and efficiency tips to help customers prevent energy waste and keep their expenses down throughout the heating season.
Additional payment options are also available to customers as part of Black Hills Cares, a customer-funded emergency assistance program matched at 100% by Black Hills Energy and the Black Hills Corporation Foundation. Managed by Salvation Army and Warm Hearts of Douglas County, customers can qualify for up to $300 in heating assistance in the counties Black Hills Energy serves in Kansas. Other resources are available by calling United Way’s 2-1-1 hotline.
Black Hills Energy is committed to providing the safe, reliable energy that communities need to thrive and is closely monitoring the current and forecasted price and supply of natural gas. For updates on how Black Hills Energy is ready to respond to increased natural gas prices and for more tips on saving energy, visit www.blackhillsenergy.com/winter-ready.