Natural gas prices are rising, which means for residents of Tri-states

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PITTSFIELD, Ill. (WGM) – The cost of heating your home this fall and winter could get high as natural gas prices are up 180% from last year.

That’s the highest in nearly seven years according to a recent CNN report.

In February, parts of the tri-state, such as Pike County, were hit with a bill of more than $ 1 million due to soaring natural gas prices.

“This is something that I hope won’t happen again,” said Robert Brewer, owner of Pittsfield, Illinois Nucci restaurant.

Brewer said city residents and business owners felt the cost of the price of natural gas when the city was hit with a $ 1.4 million bill.

“A regular bill, I would say it would be around $ 1,400 at this time of year, it was close to $ 9,000,” Brewer said. “So, yeah, that’s huge.”

Pittsfield Mayor Gary Mendenhall said the city met with its natural gas supplier last week on ways to start preparing now, before this winter.

“We’ve bought through 2025 at a fixed rate and this year we’re at 80%. For the next three years we’re at 70%. And so our fixed rate is currently $ 2.645,” Mendenhall said. “So we would have this rate at 80% of our daily use. “

Mendenhall said the other option they discussed is a natural gas insurance policy, but it could cost the city more money.

“It’s a policy that gives you extra decatherms per day, per month and you obviously have to buy them monthly,” Mendenhall said.

He thinks it pays to keep buying at a fixed rate and buying more than it would normally be to be sure, as the fixed rate prices are significantly below market prices.

Brewer said he wants to be prepared this winter as well so he doesn’t end up with an expensive bill.

“You always have concerns because when you say your business plan in this business, or in any other business, your profit depends on what you spend each month,” Brewer said.

Mendenhall said to put the gravity of the situation into context:

  • They pay $ 2.65 per decatherm of natural gas at a fixed rate.
  • He said the market value this week alone has fluctuated between $ 4.47 and $ 5.87 per decatherm.
  • He said their 5-year average is 1,150 decatherms
  • But in February, they used between 2,600 and 2,800 decatherms over a 12-day period.

Mendenhall said they will make a decision on how they will pay for natural gas this winter at the city council meeting next week Tuesday at 6 p.m.

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