Springfield heating bills set to double this winter

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – As we gear up for colder temperatures, experts expect heating bills to be nearly double what they were last year in Springfield. 

Springfield City Utilities says the price of natural gas is increasing daily.  

Officials with CU have said last February’s cold snap hasn’t been the main driver of the natural gas spike.  

However, a Springfield stove supplier says he does think last winter’s deep freeze got people thinking about more efficient, cost-effective ways to heat your home. 

“People want to be self-reliant, and wood stove sales are really good because we live in the Ozarks. We have lots of wood,” says Vernon Smith, owner of Smitty’s Chimney Sweep and Stoves. 

Smith says sales on wood and pellet stoves have been on the rise in the last three years. He says he’s seeing more and more people coming in, hoping to say give up natural gas for good, in place of wood and pellet stoves. 

“Every time you bump that bump that gas or electricity on your thermostat a couple, three degrees, four degrees. Four degrees will double your bill. With wood or pellet, you’re going to tend to stay there all the time anyway, that’s about where you’re going to stay.” 

He says costs for metal and supplies are going up, as is everything, so getting a new stove or chimney will cost you a bit of money. 

“In eight months, this stick of chimney was $120 dollars, now this stick of chimney is $220.” 

However, Smith adds a new wood or even corn stove will still save you in the long run. 

He says you’ll likely recover the cost in about four years, “But you stayed warm and comfortable that whole time, and if you lost power, it didn’t affect you, because you’re still staying warm, and you can cook on this.” 

It’s a cost-effective alternative for folks who have a little land and plenty to burn.  

Smith says homeowners living within the city limits might struggle to find cheap wood or pellets. 

But despite recent inflation, he says the sooner you switch, the more you’ll save. 

“If you’re going to put a stove in, you better put it in because it’s not getting any cheaper. Even if things come down, they’re not coming down on these prices.” 

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