Price of natural gas should be lower this winter

By Nick Kovatch on October 23 at 7:06am

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Ameren customers can expect to pay a little less for natural gas this winter than they paid last year.

The company charged an average of 57 cents a therm last winter, and expects the cost to be 53 cents to 55 cents per therm this year – a reduction of about 5 percent.

Marcelyn Love is a spokesperson for Ameren.

“There are two main reasons for this,” says Love. “The first reason being the company was able to purchase natural gas when prices were low and store it for use this winter. There’s also an increase in natural gas competition which has kept prices low and we’re able to pass this along to our customers.”

Love points out that the last couple of winters have been warmer than normal, so if this winter is colder, customers will pay more.

“Monthly bills are calculated based on the supply cost and also on the customer’s use,”says Love. “So, if the temperatures do return to normal and are a little bit cooler then some customers could see a higher bill overall. But we are certainly doing everything we can to keep the supply side of the costs low.”

About a decade ago, customers were paying over $1 per therm for natural gas.

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.