Recently, a national news story was released featuring an analysis of The States with the Highest Heating Bill This Winter with inaccurate claims about the cost Oklahoma residents will pay to heat their homes with natural gas.
The analysis claimed Oklahomans would spend an average of $301 per month on their natural gas heating bill this winter---a sum we questioned as it differed from what we’re projecting for this winter.
The number stated in the analysis made headlines and alarmed some customers. We contacted the publication asking questions about their methodology and shared our concern that their numbers did not accurately depict energy costs in Oklahoma. The publication agreed to take a closer look at their data and agreed with our findings that the numbers they published were incorrect.
While we have been told the numbers will be updated in the coming weeks, misleading numbers are circulating. To correct misinformation, outlined below is the claim made in the article and our response.
Oklahoma residents will have the highest heating bill in the U.S. It’ll cost around $301 per month to heat their homes with natural gas.
Though the outlet used credible sources like the Energy Information Administration (EIA) for data in their calculations, their analysis painted a broad picture averaging costs across numerous southern states. The publisher acknowledges these limitations to their findings and that regional projection for consumption and prices were used to generate figures rather than projections for each state.
Further, many factors go into the cost of a monthly customer bill, like the cost of gas and customer usage. These amounts vary from month to month. Using a one-month snapshot, they multiplied it across six months to estimate cost.
Most troubling, the publisher divided energy usage and cost by 417,200 customers in Oklahoma in their calculations, though the EIA data used for their analysis clearly states 910,000 homes in Oklahoma use natural gas. Oklahoma Natural Gas alone serves approximately 830,000 residential customers. Dividing usage over a smaller number of customers resulted in an inflated and inaccurate cost estimate for natural gas service.
The publisher acknowledged our concerns and will update information that will change their estimated monthly heating bills.
Things to Know:
Heating bills go up for two primary reasons: the cost of natural gas and the amount of natural gas used. The cost of natural gas is a commodity and has a higher price this winter than last winter. Colder weather often means customers use more natural gas to heat their homes. Depending on weather conditions this winter, customers could see an increase in their monthly usage if temperatures are lower compared with temperatures last winter.
We also understand that higher prices for everything, from the grocery store to holiday shopping, come at a difficult time for our customers. That’s why we’re here to help any customer that needs assistance. We have payment plans and a resource page where customers can find financial assistance agencies across the state.
Our contact center representatives are here to assist our customers through these challenging times.