'Extreme Winter Cold' Behind Surge in Natural Gas Prices

Updated: 03/04/2014 4:19 PM
Created: 03/04/2014 4:15 PM

The extreme winter cold is causing a surge in the demand for natural gas nationwide, and that means increasing prices.

The City of Duluth said the increase in demand pushed wholesale prices "significantly higher." Because of it, the gas rate has nearly doubled in Duluth. The city said residential customers should expect to see prices of $1.40 per 100 cubic feet on their next bills. The price is up from $1.00 in February, and 78 cents in January.

Commercial and industrial customers will see a price increase that is proportional to the residential rate, according to the city.

The city said even with the higher cost, natural gas is still the most economic choice for home heating, and represents about half the cost of other fuels and energy sources. They said natural gas is only 40 percent of the cost of propane and 48 percent of the cost of electricity.

About 2/3 of Duluth homes use natural gas for heat. Anyone interested to learn more about reducing heating costs, should call Comfort Systems at 218-730-4060 to find out about reducing energy consumption through an home energy audit or check-up.

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