Thursday, October 13, 2011

Why The Difference In Heating Bills?

This week, Citizens Energy announced that Indianapolis' average residential heating bills will be one percent higher this winter than they were last winter. The projections put the average heating cost for a Marion County customer at $615 for November through March. Last year's projected cost was $609 according to a Citizens Energy spokesperson. Compare those costs to residential users of NIPSCO in northwest Indiana. NIPSCO announced its residential customers would see a 7.7% drop in heating bills this winter. According to the utility, average customers can expect to pay about $461 in gas bills for the winter heating season. Last winter that same customer paid $499 for those five months. In other words, Indianapolis customers of Citizens Energy pay 33% higher prices for their heating than NIPSCO customers. Citizens Energy, unlike NIPSCO, supposedly operates as a non-profit utility. So why does the for-profit utility charge its customer 33% lower prices for natural gas to heat their homes? If someone has the answer to that question, I would appreciate knowing it. Natural gas prices have been trending lower due to increased domestic production.

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