UniSource Energy Services gas customers should expect higher bills this winter due to rising natural gas costs, which have more than tripled over the last three years.
UniSource expects residential gas bills in most of the communities it serves to increase by 7 to 13 percent this winter, or by about $6-$10 per month, based on projected weather and usage levels. Customers in service areas with milder climates could see smaller increases. The actual impact will vary based on weather and individual usage.
“While we’re effectively managing our own costs, forces beyond our control are driving up the prices we’re paying for natural gas, including inflation, national weather trends and regional supply constraints,” said Terry Nay, Vice President of Field Operations for UniSource.
UniSource offers many options to help customers facing financial challenges, including due date extensions and payment plans. The company also offers low-income discounts and works with community partners to provide emergency bill payment assistance to qualifying customers. In addition to tapping funds contributed by UniSource and its customers, these agencies can access federal energy assistance funds and emergency aid.
“We know that higher bills, whatever the reason, create challenges for many of our customers,” Nay said. “That’s why we provide flexible bill payment assistance options for customers. If you find yourself falling behind on bills, please give us a call. We can help.”
Details about UniSource’s assistance options are available at uesaz.com/payment-assistance or by calling Customer Care at 877-837-4968. Residential customers can also find simple ways to make their homes more comfortable and energy efficient at uesaz.com/news/10-ways-to-get-ready-for-winter.
Anticipated increases for UniSource customers are lower than the national average. The U.S. Department of Energy expects homes that use natural gas for heating will pay 28 percent more this winter than last.
Although much of the natural gas customers will use this winter was purchased when prices were lower, recent price increases will impact bills this winter. The company’s natural gas rates are designed to pass along gas costs without any markup while mitigating the impact of price volatility. Customers are billed based on a rolling 12-month average of actual gas costs, with limits on month-to-month increases.