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Expect bigger natural-gas bills this winter in Mahoning Valley

Published: Sun, November 11, 2012 @ 1:15 p.m.

Expect bigger natural-gas bills this winter in Mahoning Valley

Staff report


With uncertainty about weather conditions this winter, natural gas suppliers are expecting normal conditions resulting in higher costs for consumers.

The forecast for this winter offers an equal chance of being normal, colder than normal or warmer than normal, said Brian Mitchell, hydrometeorological technician for the National Weather Service in Cleveland.

“The shorter outlook for [the next 30 days] shows that we’re at a greater risk for increased precipitation coming down from the Great Lakes and further west,” he said.

The only part of the country that appears likely to experience a colder than normal winter is the Far West, Mitchell said.

Because there is no solid projection for the winter weather, natural gas suppliers are planning on a normal winter, which would mean heavier use for customers and therefore higher winter heating bills. This would occur despite natural gas reserves being near 20-year highs and local companies charging less for the gas itself than last year.

Overall gas prices for Dominion East Ohio will be 10 percent less than last November, said Neil Durbin, senior communications specialist for the company.

“Costs may seem drastically higher compared to last year because it was such a mild winter, but they won’t be compared to historical levels,” he said.

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and on Vindy.com.

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