Gas Bills in Indianapolis Still Expected to be Lowest in Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS – Citizens Energy Group today projects natural gas heating bills will increase on average about $18 per month for the five-month winter heating season. Assuming temperatures are normal, Citizens estimates that the total average natural gas bill for the November through March heating season will be about $555, compared to $465 last winter.
Global natural gas prices have been rising sharply since February when Russia invaded Ukraine and then began to gradually restrict natural gas supplies to Europe. As a result, U.S. natural gas producers have begun to export large quantities of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe. Increased demand for LNG and rising demand for natural gas from electric power generators in the U.S. has resulted in natural gas prices more than doubling since last fall.
Citizens passes on the cost of natural gas to customers with no markup. Citizens has been able to protect customers from much of the impact of higher natural gas prices through various measures including use of its underground natural gas storage fields, buying gas in advance of the winter at fixed prices and long-term gas supply contracts with discounts to market prices. As a result of these efforts, Citizens’ average residential natural gas bill over the past year ranked the lowest among the 18 gas utilities operating in the state, according to a monthly survey done by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.
"While we have been able to shield customers from the full impact of higher natural gas prices, we know many customers are struggling financially under the burdens of inflation, especially for essentials such as food, clothing and gasoline. That’s why we are increasing our efforts to assist customers in need through our Warm Heart Warm Home Foundation and other assistance sources,” said Jeffrey Harrison, Citizens President & CEO.
Where to Get Help
Marion County residents in need of energy assistance should check their eligibility for the Indiana Energy Assistance Program (EAP). Through Citizens Universal Service Program, customers who qualify for EAP will automatically receive a discount on their gas bill ranging from 12-25 percent. EAP eligible customers can also qualify for the utility’s Low-Income Customer Assistance Program (LICAP) that helps lower wastewater bills.
If customers are falling behind on their bill, they are urged to call Citizens at (317) 924-3311. In addition to grants from Warm Heart Warm Home, customers may be eligible to establish flexible payment arrangements to assist them in catching up on past due bills.
Citizens recommends all customers enroll in the Budget Plan to help manage utility costs and spread payments over 12 months. To be eligible for the Budget Plan, customers are required to be current on their bill and have a good payment history. To inquire about eligibility or request a budget quote, customers can visit Citizens Budget Plan or call (317) 924-3311.
One of the best ways to reduce the cost of utility bills is by conserving energy, including by:
- Replacing your furnace filter: Changing your furnace filter once a month helps your furnace work more efficiently.
- Dialing down your thermostat: A 10-degree reduction for an 8-hour period each day will reduce your heating bill 10 percent.
- Dialing down your water heater: A 10-degree reduction in water temperature saves 5 percent on energy costs.