COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A report by the Energy Information Administration has many consumers worried about paying more for natural gas heating this winter.
According to the EIA, lower reserves and decreased production because of a mild winter last year has raised the cost of natural gas to around $3.60 per thousand cubic foot. A year ago, the cost was less than $2.
The EIA says the cost could become as high as $3.95 before the end of this winter, which would mean an additional $60 to the cost of an average winter heating bill.
However, Dave Grossman of Colorado Springs Utilities said on Friday that the utility has no plans to charge more for natural gas.
"Prices fluctuate all the time," he said. "We may charge slightly more for infrastructure to make safety improvements on pipelines, but not for natural gas itself."
Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP), a federally-funded assistance program for consumers, begins Nov. 1. No one from the program was available Friday to explain available funding and expected demand this winter.
Colorado Springs Utilities has a year-round program called Citizen's Option to Provide Energy (Project COPE) that provides assistance to consumers who don't qualify for LEAP.
For more information about COPE, visit http://www.projectcopecs.org/get_help.htm