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Citizens Energy Group: Expect higher natural gas bills this winter

A photo illustration of a gas stove burner in a kitchen on October 11,2021 in Zwolle, Overijssel, The Netherland. (Photo by Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indy-area residents who rely on natural gas to heat their homes or businesses will likely see higher bills this winter, according to projections issued Wednesday by Citizens Energy Group.

The company, which provides utility service for about 900,000 people in and around the Circle City, says it expects natural gas heating bills to increase, on average, by $18 per month for the five-month winter heating season.

“Assuming temperatures are normal, Citizens estimates that the total average natural gas bill for the November through March heating season will be about $555, compared to $465 last winter,” Citizens said in a statement.

According to Citizens, global natural gas prices have been rising sharply since Russia invaded Ukraine and then began to slowly restrict natural gas supplies to Europe.

“As a result, U.S. natural gas producers have begun to export large quantities of liquefied natural gas to Europe. Increased demand for LNG and rising demand for natural gas from electric power generators in the U.S. has resulted in natural gas prices more than doubling since last fall,” Citizens said.

Citizens says it passes on the cost of natural gas to customers “with no markup,” adding that it’s been able to “protect customers from feeling much of the impact of higher natural gas prices” by using underground natural gas storage fields and buying gas ahead of the winter at fixed prices.

Marion County residents who need energy assistance should check their eligibility for the Indiana Energy Assistance Program. Customers who qualify will automatically receive a discount on their gas bill of 12 to 25%.

Citizens customers who fall behind on their bills should contact the utility company at 317-924-3311 to discuss flexible payment arrangements.

Visit the Citizens Energy Group website for more information.