According to Dave Wallace, an Xcel customer in Fargo, the average monthly natural gas bill is $ 30, but the latest bill is $ 74.
Wallis, a retired photographer for the forum, said he had met with neighbors and that one of their natural gas bills had gone from $ 34 to $ 80.
Earlier this year, Xcel Energy, which serves the Fargo and Grand Forks areas, applied for permission from the Public Service Commission to recover $ 33 million from unforeseen costs from cold weather, and PSC finally approved the request.
The natural gas price adjustment for XL Energy residents has started in July. Matt Lindstrom, Xcel Energy’s senior media communications representative.
It is difficult to say why Lindestrom added a particular account without knowing the specific situation of a particular customer, but he added that many factors can affect a customer’s account.
For example, a customer’s natural gas bill combined with their electricity bill could lead to higher bills if they use too much electricity and run air conditioners frequently.
“Increasing their use of natural gas can also affect their finances,” he added.
Lindestrom said the high and prolonged freezing of natural gas in North Dakota and across the country significantly increased demand for natural gas in mid-February. He said the increase in demand, coupled with climate-related natural gas supply, has led to a short-term increase in wholesale natural gas prices for many utilities across the country.
“During February’s extreme weather, our priority is to ensure that all customers have access to safe heating and electricity. “As they follow our policy of protecting natural gas prices, high fuel costs are still charged during that unforeseen event.”
Xcel is committed to helping potential customers who are struggling with their accounts. They can contact us and we will link them to other resources that can help us make payment plans and help us.
Lindestrom said customers who are concerned about their accounts can visit xcelenergy.com/energyassistance, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the company at 800-895-4999.
Brian Cruz, a member of the North Dakota Public Service Commission, said he had the right to ask for price adjustments to compensate for legal expenses.
But he added, “It will appeal without question. We had no legal basis for refusing, and the courts were overturning it. ”
At the request of Xcel, Crosch said the PCC approved the “adder” for utility bills per dekatherm for natural gas consumption. At the current price of natural gas, about $ 3.50 per dictator, Adder spends about $ 7 per month on natural gas.
According to Crosche, PSC has chosen that formula to address the Xcel query, as residents who have been able to reduce their demand can reduce the increase to some extent.
Some natural gas customers have questioned whether the state of Texas’s energy supply system is related to a leap in local natural gas bills, but Cruz said the main problem was the cold weather that hit Texas and many parts. United States in February.
“Without a single major contribution, Texas will provide approximately 26% of the country’s natural gas supply,” Crosch said.
He added, “During the cold winter of February, half of that production was restricted, and not by choice, because the well’s head was cooling down.
According to Crushus, some have questioned why February’s colder natural gas prices have affected the eastern part of North Dakota more than in the west.
The answer to that question is that places like Bismarck have easy access to natural gas storage and natural gas from the Bacchus formation.
Crosche, for his part, said the situation could improve for North Dakota if pipelines were improved, but said such projects were unrealistic, possibly partly due to the tendency of pipeline projects to be targeted.
Natural gas pricing has been favorable for some time, he said, due to improvements in technology from well wells and increased natural gas production in the Bacon formation in northwestern Dakota.
He says that the price of natural gas for consumers today is “the same as the price of gas 10-12 years ago, even with the temporary snake.”
According to Sydney Shock, who oversees the Cass County Human Services Zone Economic Support, the increase in natural gas bills is uncertain whether many consumers will be able to pay for their bills.
According to Shock, on October 1, 2020 and May 31, 2021, some 1,800 households in the county received some form of assistance with heating bills. He said he expects the same number to be registered by October 1.
Given the high natural gas bill, he said, it is difficult to predict whether more people will be able to apply for assistance.
According to Shock, between October 1, 2020 and July 2021, an estimated 1,800 households in Kassa County are eligible to receive federal outsourcing dollars while receiving heating subsidies.
In two cases, at the beginning of spring this year and again in July, about $ 460 was paid to each household in the form of a grant, and the money was then made available to consumers as a home loan.
According to Shock, energy subsidies in Cass County were just under $ 1.3 million between October 2020 and the end of July this year.
Cass County residents who are eligible for energy support can call the Cass County Human Services Zone Economic Support Division at 701-241-5747.