Tom Glanzer, a spokesman for Northwestern Energy, says they saw usage jump sharply this fall.
“We went straight into some cold weather, into heating season-type weather very early in October and early November,” Glanzer says, “so the demand for natural gas has risen quite a bit in these early months of the heating season, which unfortunately means price is up just a little bit.”
Glanzer says the company’s gas supply is on target for this time of the year.
“We pre-buy a lot of our natural gas and our storage is full and we’re layered in to about where we should be according to the formula we’ve been using for the last 30 years,” Glanzer says. “We are going to see a slight uptick in prices. We’re looking at under 10% with what we’ve layered in and what the market is going at right now.”
Glanzer says consumers may see natural gas prices rollercoaster this winter but he notes, the company does not make money when the price goes up.
“We had a pretty rough run there for a while,” he says. “We had some interruption from the hurricanes and things like that. We got into $17 a decatherm and it’s right around 10 or 9 now and it got as low as 6 or 7 in the past couple of years when there was a good supply. Maybe we’re seeing more of a ‘real’ price right now.”
Northwestern supplies natural gas to residential, commercial and rural customers in more than 100 South Dakota and Nebraska communities, including North Platte, Kearney and Grand Island.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton