The company charged an average of 59 cents a therm last winter, and expects the cost to be the same this winter.
However, spokesman Leigh Morris points out that last winter was unusually warm, so if the weather this winter is closer to normal, customers will pay more. “What is likely to happen is people are gonna use more energy to keep warm, and even though the unit price of natural gas will be low, their overall usage will go up, which means that they’re likely to see higher bills,” he said.
There’s a strong supply of natural gas, and economic and weather conditions last winter kept demand down, so there’s plenty available.
This price is stable because supply is plentiful and demand has been slack. A decade ago, customers were paying over $1.
Ameren charges customers its acquisition cost for natural gas, plus the cost of interstate gas transportation and leased storage, which the company is allowed by law to recover. There is no profit mark-up on natural gas. The company makes its money off the delivery charge, which is a separate charge.
(posted 3:03 p.m. 10/18/2012 by Alex Degman)