Oklahomans in disbelief over Oklahoma’s high natural gas bills
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — A very hot day has Amanda Moomey thinking about her skyrocketing bill from Oklahoma Natural Gas.
“I live on social security and disability, so I have a very fixed income,” said the longtime OKC resident, adding that she usually uses an automatic payment function to help plan. monthly expenses which generally ranged from 60 to 80 dollars.
But that was before a sudden spike in natural gas prices earlier this year.
“[But] even being conservative with heating, air conditioning, cooking, showers, whatever I can do to reduce usage…no impact,” she added. “All of a sudden, in January of this year, I noticed a balance owing,” Moomey added, noting that all of his bills since the first of the year were closer to $100 or $150.
“And my usage certainly hasn’t doubled, it’s just me and me,” Moomey continued. “I’m going to have to make a payment agreement.”
Local rate increases across the state are also adding to this tension, with NGO customers facing two separate price increases since late 2021, including a 2021 winter storm recovery charge, which increases the bill. from a customer up to eight dollars, depending on their rate plan, in addition to a performance-based annual rate increase for 2022.
The total increase for the year is over $19 million, and for the average customer, that means over an additional dollar each month.
NGO representatives declined an on-camera interview on Friday, but confirmed to KFOR in a partial statement that rates have risen 90% over the past year, and for the most part they have no control on rates, choosing to pass that. cost their customers:
“Oklahoma Natural Gas customers have seen their gas bills increase due to the higher natural gas prices our industry is seeing in the marketplace. As a reminder, Oklahoma Natural Gas does not set the price of gas. Our customers pay what we pay for natural gas. Our company recommends that customers perform regular maintenance on their natural gas appliances (including water heaters) with professional assistance to maximize efficiency and encourage cost savings.
Oklahoma Natural Gas
NGO representatives said customers needing help paying bills can find more information about their website.
The sudden rise also reflects a sharp rise in natural gas prices globally, according to an official from the US Energy Information Administration, who told KFOR in a statement on Friday that the price increases could be attributed to the rising demand as well as long-term tensions in the gas and energy markets due to Winter storm 2021adding that “demand for energy-related raw materials, including natural gas, has largely returned at a faster rate than production.”
As for Amanda, she isn’t sure if this price hike is something she can continue to afford.
“Without asking for help, that’s about all I can handle,” she said.
KFOR also reached out to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to get their perspective on why the rates were increased and why customers were so caught off guard.
In a statement this afternoon to the newsroom, they also confirmed that the spike was likely due to the competitive natural gas market and other related expenses.
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