This winter, you might notice a bump in your utility bills, including your monthly charges for natural gas. Various factors impacting the market have resulted in higher costs for natural gas compared to a year ago.

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What’s causing the increase in natural gas prices?
Simply put, there have been supply and demand issues within the industry, and U.S. exports have grown faster than expected. This has contributed to storage inventories being lower than last year and the five-year average. With demand growing at a greater rate than production, prices have surged globally resulting in a temporary price increase.

Here are three things to know about your gas bill this winter:

  1. We don’t set or mark up the cost of gas. The price we pay, is the price you pay. The cost of natural gas is a matter of supply and demand. And, due to supply issues impacting the entire industry, we expect an increase in the price we pay for the gas you will use from November through March.
  2. We work to keep bills affordable. Securing the lowest prices for our customers is always top of mind. Our analysts continually review natural gas market prices, and our purchasing strategy includes buying gas in the summer months, when prices are typically lower. We also follow a hedge program that works like an insurance policy to help reduce the impact of price hikes.
  3. We offer ways to manage your bill. If you’re looking for more predictability in your bill each month, consider enrolling in our Average Payment Plan / Average Bill Calculation Plan, which is based on a 12-month rolling average of your natural gas bill. This is a way to reduce the volatility of seasonal energy expenses by spreading out the cost throughout the year. Visit OklahomaNaturalGas.com/billingoptions to learn more.

What can I do to lower my utility bill this winter?
We want you to enjoy a warm home this winter without worrying about breaking the bank. Natural gas is a safe and reliable energy source that can create comfort during those chilly winter days. So, take charge of your energy choice and make smart decisions to help you reduce your energy use and control those winter bills. Here are three simple and inexpensive ideas that can help you save money:

  1. Set the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees F or the “warm” setting, and if your home will be vacant for two days or more, set it to the pilot position for additional savings.
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  2. Apply weatherstripping and caulk to seal gaps and cracks around doors and windows to stop air leaks and prevent energy loss.weatherstripping
  3. Have a qualified contractor inspect your furnace annually to make sure it’s operating properly, and be sure to change or clean the filters on your heating unit to improve efficiency.furnace inspection

Click here for even more cost-saving tips. If you are experiencing a financial hardship, you may qualify for financial assistance, click here to learn more.