Heating bills spring forward
Less usage will help offset ongoing rate hikes
Natural gas prices continue to climb but warmer temperatures and less usage will offer some relief from springtime heating bills, Xcel Energy says.
During the spring, furnace usage eases and heating bills drop by more than half of the amount customers pay during the colder winter months, the utility says.
The rates aren’t getting cheaper, however.
Due to the run-up in U.S. natural gas prices, April-June rates will run 15 percent to 19 percent higher than spring of last year, the utility said.
The typical monthly residential bill will run about $35.39, up 15 percent from $30.66 a year ago, the utility said.
The typical small business bill will run about $152.83, up 19 percent from $128.37 a year ago, the utility said.
In the current winter quarter, the typical residential bill is $81 a month and the typical small business bill is $338 a month, the utility said.
A colder-than-anticipated winter in much of the country is contributing to the rise in natural gas prices that began last year, the utility said.
The state Public Utilities Commission reviews all quarterly rate adjustments.