Natural gas use in Nebraska is up this winter, compared to last season.
Hastings Utilities has exceeded last year’s peak day twice already.
Don Cox, energy supply director, says underground storage reserves across the nation are being tapped.
“They’ve set some records, some historic records, as far as what the withdrawal rates are,” Cox tells Nebraska Radio Network. “That has had some impact on natural gas prices in some areas. We’re not impacted that greatly here.”
He says daily prices did spike a little around New Year’s Day, but it was manageable.
The Metropolitan Utilities District (MUD) in Omaha reports it may have hit a record high consumption rate Jan. 15.
“Our sales volume aren’t final, yet, but that is the peak sales day MUD has ever had, as far as how much gas we pushed through our system,” Dave Bellairs, MUD energy acquisitions director, tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Cox says Hastings Utilities experienced a 57 percent increase in consumption Jan. 14-15.
“It’s primarily weather-related, and it was expected and planned for with the forecasting that we had,” he says. “It didn’t cause us any problems, whatsoever.”
Neither utility saw a spike in the cost of natural gas, but Cox says if a customer uses more, their bill will be higher.
“We are in a very stable, overall pricing market, as far as it’s a very good balance of supply and demand,” Bellairs says.
The cold weather season for utilities typically runs through March, so Bellairs says he would not be surprised to see another big cold spell in February.
AUDIO: Mike Loizzo reports [:42]