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As natural gas prices climb, so will electric bills, experts say

Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 6:47 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - As fuel cost continues to climb, those prices are not the only concern.

Gas prices at the Kroger on Washington Road are steadily increasing like everywhere else. But there is another type of gas increase, too. Those prices could determine how much you pay to keep your lights on.

Joy Bell-Turman, McCormick Commission of Public Works customer, said: “I was like, ‘Is this a scam? Is this our monthly bill?’ and they said, ‘Yeah.’ I asked them what happened.”

Turman says in March, her joint power, water and sewer bill jumped from $200 to $471.

Kendra Dansby, McCormick CPW customer, said: “For the last two months, it’s been extremely high.”

Dansby and many others saw the same thing. Her bill jumped by around $250.

“They said it was because the gas prices are going up, and there’s a fuel surcharge increase,” she said.

It’s not the gas you use for fuel, but the natural gas used to power electricity.

Dr. Sanela Porca, dean of the University of South Carolina Aiken school of business, said: “As you see, the price of natural gas goes up. You will expect naturally that the price of electricity will go up.”

She says the global price of natural gas has been steadily increasing because of supply and demand issues. It’s not just McCormick CPW. Companies like Georgia Power also use natural gas as a primary tool for creating energy.

Whether your bill takes a hit depends on the company.

“Where does the supply of natural gas come from, who is the producer of electricity, at which prices are they charging the consumer all of that is a factor,” said Porca.

Porca says companies store natural gas, so you shouldn’t worry too much. But increases can happen. The due date for McCormick residents is on Thursday.

Turman said: “They’re worried not only about this bill but the bills to come.”

Several residents have filed complaints with the state and will attend the commission meeting on Thursday to ask for solutions to the high bills.

Anyone who is having a problem paying their bill, visit https://psc.ga.gov then click on “Utility Assistance Programs.”

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