Home heating costs rise as temperatures fall
Post Independent Staff
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Ouch.
That’s what natural gas customers are saying since receiving their January 2004 heating bills.
Rate hikes went into effect in January for two companies, Xcel Energy and Kinder Morgan, that supply natural gas regionally.
Xcel Energy customers are getting the hardest hits since January, with rates increasing about 70 percent. Xcel services 70 percent of Colorado, including Silt, Rifle, Parachute and Battlement Mesa.
An Xcel residential customer who last winter on average spent about $84 a month on natural gas is now paying $143 a month for the same amount of gas.
Kinder Morgan services the Roaring Fork Valley. The company’s energy prices have also gone up, but just 23 percent, since its prices were already higher than Xcel Energy.
That translates to an average heating bill of $144 per month this winter, compared to $117 to last winter.
Town governments are taking the hit, too. New Castle town administrator Steve Rippy said energy bills for Town Hall increased 50 percent from December to January.
“We don’t have a breakdown between our natural gas heating bills and our electricity bills,” Rippy said. But he has seen a substantial increase.
Compared with electric
Electric costs have gone up too, from December to January, but far less than natural gas costs.
Delvan Worley is the general manager for competitive services at Holy Cross Electric.
“It generally costs a little more to create heat from electricity so electric heating bills have reflected that,” he said. “But now, we’re seeing that natural gas heating costs are about the same as heating electrically.”
Worley said there’s been a slight increase in electricity costs ” from 3 to 5 percent ” but nothing like the increases gas customers are seeing.
Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518
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