City Utilities of Springfield has sent out a letter to customers warning of potential bill impacts due to increased prices of natural gas.

The company says the price of natural gas has more than doubled compared to 2021.

“We want customers to know that as you go into the winter heating season, take a look at what you can do to offset these costs.” CU Spokesperson Joel Alexander said. “We expect this could be anywhere from 30 to 50% higher on the natural gas portion of your utility bill.”

We talked to CU customers about their reaction when they got the letter.

“It does not surprise me that the prices have gone up. We have been on an even pay plan for eight years. And this is the first time in eight years that it has gone up and it went up by $80 a month.” Douglas Wheeler said.

“When I moved here, my utilities were a lot higher than I was used to.” Susan Neely said. “So I started closing doors, trying to conserve energy. And this year, they’re calling for it to be colder and wetter. I’m really concerned.”

Neely says if her natural gas bill were to increase by that 30 – 50% window Alexander says it could, it would put her in a tight spot.

“If mine increased 50%, that would put me at $500 a month for gas alone. That doesn’t count my electric. It doesn’t count my water. It’s $500 a month for gas alone.” Neely said.

City Utilities says people who don’t use natural gas could be affected too.

“This year electric bill could be impacted too somewhat on the on that side, if we end up using natural gas for producing electricity.” Alexander said. “There will be some there will be some increase on that, probably just for the simple fact we do use natural gas from time to time.”

While it may be easier to deal with the increase for some customers, others may struggle to keep the heat on.

“For the most part, we have prepared for these times. And that’s, I think, an important part of retirement.” Wheeler said.

“People who are making minimum wage, you know, it’s going to be a challenge for for people to actually keep their utilities on.” Neely added.