What can Metropolitan Utilities District (M.U.D.) residential natural gas customers expect for winter heating bills?
- Assuming normal winter temperatures, M.U.D. customers could experience lower heating bills this winter compared to last year largely due to lower natural gas prices.
- The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is projecting natural gas prices will be lower than last year driven by an increase in natural gas storage levels going into the winter heating season.
- The cost of natural gas is just one component of the gas bill for M.U.D. customers. Other portions of the bill go to fund the operating and maintenance of the gas system. For more information, visit the Understanding Your Bill page.
- While other components could increase this year, the combined gas bill is expected to be lower than last winter.
- The exact amount of the projection is not known and is dependent upon several factors including weather conditions and natural gas market prices, which fluctuate daily and even hourly.
Factors driving natural gas prices:
- U.S. winter outlook (affecting pass-through costs) – the weather forecasts show equal chances of colder/warmer for the central U.S.
- Demand side is still very strong with Liquefied Natural Gas exports still going strong, along with additional coal to gas shifting for electric generation.
- National gas storage levels are higher than this time last year and production is also higher than last year.
What is M.U.D. doing to prepare for this winter?
M.U.D. is prepared for this coming heating season. We employ several strategies to lower natural gas costs for our customers, including long-term supply contracts and on-site storage. M.U.D.’s on-site storage facilities are ready for operation during any extreme weather. Renovations are underway at our Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Plant that will increase the capacity of the plant during the upcoming winter heating season.
- 74% of our natural gas is purchased via prepaid gas deals, which is estimated to save our customers $12 million in 2023 and $13 million in 2024.
- Our long-term transportation agreement with Northern Natural Gas (NNG), which includes a negotiated “cap,” which we estimate will save our customers $17 million in 2023 and $17 million in 2024 vs. NNG’s currently effective tariff rates.
- Our storage, including the LNG facility and pipeline storage, minimizes “spot market” purchases in times of high demand when gas costs are typically at their highest.
Resources for customers:
As colder weather arrives, M.U.D. encourages its customers to prepare for winter heating bills.
- Reduce energy use and participate in gas appliance rebates – Check out the winter tips page for cost-effective ways you can reduce usage in your home. M.U.D. also offers rebates when you purchase natural gas dryers, ranges and other energy-efficient gas appliances. Visit our rebates page for details.
- Enroll in budget billing– We offer a budget payment plan that spreads your average utility usage across 12 monthly installments to avoid bill fluctuations. You may join the plan any time of the year.
- Reach out to Customer Service– If you are facing financial hardships, please contact Customer Service at 402.554.6666 to discuss your utility account. We are committed to working with you to discuss payment arrangements and provide information on utility assistance funds.
- Apply for utility assistance programs– Assistance is available to income-qualifying customers. You can apply for support through state-based agencies and M.U.D.’s Home Fund. Visit mudomaha.com/homefund for more information.