Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
Jed Boal Reporting We heard the warnings, we expected to pay more, but many Utahns are stunned as they open their natural gas bills this month.
We all know the bad news, our natural gas bills went up substantially this month. The utility knows many customers are upset with the price hike, but Questar says it's all about supply and demand, and some colder temperatures.
A warm afternoon in Salt Lake is a small consolation for people who opened their Questar bills with great apprehension.
"It was probably 60 bucks higher, for the same amount of fuel usage."
A 38% price hike, plus temperatures 15% colder than average during the billing cycle, can raise your bill 50 percent or more. In extreme cold, your furnace works harder and some people edge the thermostat higher.
"It's a reality. You have to stay warm and it's sad for those who can't afford it. I can right now."
"I was surprised that it wasn't higher. I've closed off bedrooms and wore a sweater."
Darren Shepherd, Questar Gas: "Gas prices are up higher everywhere across the country."
The average Questar customer who paid $128 last December will pay $184 this year. That’s a 44% increase without factoring in temperatures.
On the budget plan, which evens out your bill over 12 months, that person paid $75 last December and $107 this year, a 43% increase.
Darren Shepherd, Questar Gas: "This is strictly a supply and demand issue. Gas supplies right now are in demand, and the price has gone up because of it."
According to Questar, we pay the lowest residential gas prices in the lower 48 states.
Darren Shepherd: "We're not seeing quite as high of increases because questar has its own supplies. That's significantly lower than the market gas."
Most people told us they are doing what they can to conserve. If you haven't already, change the filter in your furnace and pick up a programmable thermostat. Both those things will help reduce your bill.