5:54 am January 13, 2010, by Henry Unger
It looks like Mother Nature pulled a fast one on consumers.
Natural gas customers caught a break last fall when the price of the fuel fell as supplies rose, AJC staffer David Markiewicz reports. But the benefit of those lower rates is being negated by the deep freeze that’s enveloped Georgia.
Consumers’ furnaces are running more, and the result is noticeably higher heating bills, Markiewicz writes.
“Even though natural gas prices are significantly lower than last winter, the increased usage will equate to higher bills,” the Georgia Public Service Commission said in an advisory this week.
December 2009 was 30 percent colder than December 2008, the PSC said. January has been even colder so far. That’s driving up consumption, gas marketers and the PSC said.
Consumption was up 23.7 percent in December 2009 over December 2008. Through Jan. 10, it was up 119 percent this January over January 2009.
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