Volatile fuel prices and how that impacts your bill

Updated August 26, 2022: 

If you’ve filled up at the gas station recently or watched the news, you are aware that fuel prices have increased dramatically over the last several months and remain volatile. This volatility in fuel prices not only impacts what you pay at the gas pump, it also impacts the costs of natural gas and electricity for your home and business.

Liberty, like many other utilities, buys the natural gas we deliver to our gas customers and that we use to fuel some of our electric power generation plants for our electric customers on the energy market. As a regulated utility, our fuel costs are passed through to customers with no mark up, and Liberty does not profit on this part of your utility bill. The higher prices that started last year have continued to spike, and we expect this trend to continue into the winter.

We know this may create hardship for some of our customers. Below is some information about why the increase is happening, how it may affect your bill, and what we are doing and what you can do to help offset the increase.


  • Several factors are contributing to the natural gas price increase occurring in the U.S. and across the globe:

    • The war in Ukraine has created a greater demand for domestically produced natural gas. This means natural gas exports to Europe and other countries have increased. This has strained supply in the U.S. putting upward pressure on prices.
    • The energy market, like many other markets, is affected by things like storms and extreme weather, supply chain issues, and general economic and social uncertainty.
    • Production issues and lower than normal natural gas storage levels have driven prices up. This began last year as warmer temperatures and extreme weather events increased demand for energy while the supply remained low or even declined.
  • The cost of gas is based on market price. The price we pay for the natural gas that we deliver to our gas customers or use to generate power for our electric customers is passed through to customers without a markup. We don’t profit on this part of your bill.  For some of our states and utilities, this charge is updated monthly, and for others, this charge is updated every six months or annually. The update is a historic look back at what we actually paid for fuel versus what customers were charged for fuel during that time period. Customers pay no more or less than what we pay. Currently, we expect customers will see an increase due to the volatility in the fuel market this year.      

     

  • This charge appears as a line-item called PGA on you bill. The fuel cost is updated every month.

    • Energy Saving Tips - The less energy you use, the more you can save. We have useful tips on how to save energy here.
    • Energy Efficiency Programs - We have energy efficiency programs that offer rebates and incentives for using high-efficiency equipment. Please review our programs that could help you save energy. Learn more
    • Budget Billing – By getting on Budget Billing now, you will be able to level out the peaks and valleys of pricing and energy usage that happen over the course of the year. Learn more here.
    • Financial Assistance – We recognize rising fuel prices may cause financial hardship for some of our customers. We’re here to help. We offer flexible payment plans and have access to financial assistance resources that may be right for you. Please visit our assistance page for more information. 
  • While the U.S. and global natural gas market is not something that Liberty can control, there are steps we can take to help manage the impact of natural gas prices on our customers.

    • To help protect customers from natural gas price spikes, we follow the markets carefully and purchase fixed-priced natural gas in advance when possible.
    • For Liberty electric customers, we use a balanced energy generation mix to help ensure reliability and keep energy cost-effective. This includes energy sources such a wind, solar, and hydroelectric that have no fuel costs.
    • For Liberty natural gas customers, we use natural gas storage for a portion of our winter natural gas supply. This allows us to purchase fuel in advance and store it for future use.
    • We recognize rising fuel prices may cause financial hardship for some of our customers. We’re here to help. We offer flexible payment plans and have access to financial assistance resources that may be right for you. Please visit our assistance page for more information. 

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Cost of Gas Price Increase