Supplies are locked in, prices are low and energy companies are just waiting for cold weather. Clyde Gross is senior gas manager for Northwestern Energy and says they’ve filled up on natural gas.
“Storage is full for Northwestern in South Dakota and Nebraska,” Gross says. “In fact, we’re overflowing because it’s been so mild. The prices are really good. We’ll be similarly priced to last winter. Residential customers, if we get the cold they’re promising, the bill may be up but it’ll be because of usage, not because of price.”
Gross says they contract ahead for most of the gas they expect to use each winter.
“In a given year, I contract around 70 to 75% of what our residential and small commercial customers use,” Gross says. “This year, we use a computer model, and we’re contracted for about 65% but it’s because the market is so weak that the model calls for us not to contract as much.”
Gross says they have multiple supply lines and don’t expect any disruptions.
“The interstate pipelines have done a good job with maintenance and there’s a couple of other reserves tapped,” Gross says. “I really don’t see a disruption of service and we’re not affected by hurricanes in the Gulf or something crazy. I think we’re ready for winter.”
Northwestern supplies natural gas to residential, commercial and rural customers in more than 100 South Dakota and Nebraska communities.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton