Utility is Shielding Customers from Higher Natural Gas Prices
INDIANAPOLIS – Citizens Energy Group today projected natural gas heating bills would increase on average $10 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 $474, compared to $423 last winter.
Although the market price for natural gas is approximately double the level of last fall, Citizens has been able to shield customers from much of the impact through various measures including use of its underground natural gas storage fields, price hedging contracts with suppliers and long-term gas supply contracts with discounts to market prices.
During the 2020-2021 winter heating season, Citizens’ average residential natural gas bill ranked the 2nd lowest among the 18 gas utilities operating in the state, according to a monthly survey done by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.
“While we are projecting a small increase in gas bills, we know many customers are still struggling financially due to the ongoing economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why we are increasing our efforts to identify and assist customers in need through our Warm Heart Warm Home Foundation and other sources,” said Jeffrey Harrison, Citizens President & CEO.
Where to Get Help
Marion County residents in need of energy assistance should visit IndyEap.org to see if they qualify 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.
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 CitizensEnergyGroup.com or call (317) 924-3311.
Among the best ways to reduce the cost of utility bills is by conserving energy through:
- 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.