UGI Utilities Inc. announced Tuesday that its purchased gas cost rates will increase, resulting in a 9.6% increase in the average residential heating customer’s bill from $89.69 per month to $98.31 per month on Dec. 1. Energy prices in general have seen upward price pressure throughout 2021, according to Chris Brown, UGI vice president and general manager of rates and supply. Despite the price increase, natural gas remains a cost-effective energy source with local, dependable shale gas sources.
UGI continues to collaborate closely with our suppliers to guarantee that our clients continue to benefit from natural gas. Utilities are required by law to transfer the cost of natural gas they purchase straight to customers, with no markup. Because of the Marcellus Shale, natural gas costs in Pennsylvania have remained lower than in other parts of the country, according to Brown.
However, Gene Brady, executive director of the Commission on Economic Opportunity, warned that with inflation at a 31-year high and the cost of food and petrol at the pump rising, many people would find it difficult to afford these higher prices, particularly if their salaries do not rise. The rising bills will also put a strain on retired individuals on limited incomes, especially if the winter is chilly, he said. “Many times, they’re choosing between paying their rent or mortgage or paying for food,” Brady explained.
“Those are the kinds of decisions they’re making, and much higher electricity costs will put folks in a position where they’ll need assistance.” Low-income households can get support from the Commission on Economic Opportunity with their heating bills. One option is the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Crisis programme, which assists low-income renters and homeowners with their heating expenditures.