KY residents can expect to see lower natural gas prices - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

KY residents can expect to see lower natural gas prices

(KFVS) -

Kentucky residents who heat their homes with natural gas can expect to see lower prices at the start of the 2015-2016 season, according to the Kentucky Service Commission (PSC).

Kentucky customers can expect their total gas bill to be about 21 percent smaller this November. That is about a $23 decrease from last year.

Gas prices are down from more than a third from this time last year, and have fallen by more than two-thirds since 2008. 

"Development of new sources of natural gas has produced a long-term decline in prices," PSC Chairman Jim Gardner said. "The supply has kept pace with higher demand from both an improving economy and greater use of natural gas to fuel electric power plants."

Weather plays a major role in how consumers use energy to heat their homes and is the main factor in the size of their heating bill, Gardner said.

"The extended outlook for this winter is for temperatures to be close to normal or perhaps a bit warmer than usual in Kentucky," Gardner said.

Despite the weather and decrease in natural gas prices, Gardner still recommends consumers taking steps to reduce consumption.

"Today's low natural gas costs offer an opportunity to invest in permanent improvements, such as weatherization, that will insulate homeowners against higher energy costs in the future," Gardner said.

Some simple weatherization steps provided by the PSC include using caulk or weatherstripping to seal cracks around windows, doors, pipes and other points of cold air. Covering windows and adding insulation in attics, crawl spaces and walls are also other helpful benefits.

Gardner also said heating assistance is available from local utility companies and other government agencies for those consumers who still have trouble paying their bill, but that these funds are often limited.

"Do not wait to act until you are in danger of losing utility service," he said. "If you anticipate difficulties in paying your heating bill this winter, now is the time to find out where you might be able to receive assistance.

Natural gas costs are about 38 percent lower than they were a year ago.

About 44 percent of Kentucky residents heat their homes with natural gas.

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