Typical residential customers of Colorado Springs Utilities can expect to see their energy bill spike by nearly $30 after fuel price increases kicked in Nov. 15 for both electricity and natural gas.
And that’s on top of “fuel cost adjustments” imposed last spring to recoup more than $100 million paid for fuel during a deep freeze in February that cramped the market, causing prices to skyrocket.
The recent increase will push residential electric bills up by 13.5 percent (to $106 for a typical user, from $93 charged in October). Gas bills will go up 27 percent (to $75 from $59 a month ago).
Commercial customers’ bills will spike by even more — 17 percent for power and 33 percent for gas — and industrial customers’ bills will climb by more than 20 percent for electricity and nearly 34 percent for gas.
It’s not a leap to expect prices charged to consumers by commercial and industrial utilities users to follow suit, as businesses seek to recover some or all of that increase.
In a message to ratepayers, Springs Utilities said, “Natural gas prices continue to rise globally. They’re now almost 100 percent higher than this time last year because of a combination of supply concerns and rising demand. This year, natural gas prices have hit the highest levels seen nationally since 2014.”
And then there’s this ominous warning, “Cost for natural gas is expected to keep rising, and if there is an especially cold winter, prices could exceed current price projections.”
Go to csu.org/Pages/CustomerAssistance.aspx for ways to get help with utility bills, info on payment plans and tips to reduce usage.