While Illinois has mostly avoided the cool temperatures that typically accompany this time of year, Ameren Illinois will be prepared when ‘Old Man Winter’ finally hits.
Ameren Illinois leaders joined the state’s other natural gas utilities on Tuesday at the Illinois Commerce Commission's annual policy session on winter preparedness. Representatives presented information on what each company is doing to prepare for winter and the expected increase in natural gas use.
With approximately 1.3 billion cubic feet per day of gas available, Ameren Illinois reported that it has adequate supply to accommodate peak demand. The company also expects natural gas supply prices to hold steady.
Based on current market prices, Ameren Illinois customers will pay $0.44 per therm during the 2016-17 heating season, the same price as the 2015-16 heating season. Since the 2015-16 winter weather was 20 percent warmer than normal, Ameren Illinois customers may see an increase in their winter heating bills if colder temperatures return and energy usage increases.
Natural gas, including the cost of interstate gas transportation, leased storage, and the commodity itself, makes up a large portion of a customer’s monthly heating bill. Ameren Illinois takes steps to keep prices as low as possible for customers by purchasing natural gas in the summer when prices are lower, storing it in underground reservoirs, and then delivering it for customers to use in the winter months.
“While a customer's total bill amount will depend on a variety of factors, including temperatures outside and the actual amount of energy a customer uses, we’re pleased that our price hedging and storage strategies continue to make it possible for Ameren Illinois’ natural gas prices to remain among the lowest in the country,” said Ken Dothage, Ameren Illinois Gas Supply Director.
Ameren Illinois customers can further reduce their heating bills by implementing energy saving strategies:
About Ameren Illinois
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 816,000 natural gas customers in downstate Illinois, and our mission is to power the quality of life. Our service territory covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com. Follow us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois and Facebook.