Temps plunge; Natural gas prices soar

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Something else to blame on the cold weather: Your rising gas bill.

Almost a million people around Chicagoland will see the cost of keeping warm going up next year.  And more immediately, they will see a big increase next month. Bills, on average will be over $50 dollar higher in March.

Just as the cold and sudden changes in temperature take a toll on our roads, it affects the gas company’s infrastructure too.  People’s Gas says it’s had to deliver more natural gas this year than any of the last ten.

That increased demand means it’s been buying on the more expensive spot market, which is why next month you’ll pay more.   The cold weather spike in demand, a 26 percent increase this winter, literally hits home with a huge price spike – nearly 80 percent. And another temperature drop could drive the price even higher.

Next year, both People’s and North Shore Gas are asking for rate hikes to maintain their delivery systems.  That price hike has to go before the Illinois commerce commission, where the gas companies can expect a battle.

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