CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — One result of all that freezing weather from a couple of weeks ago was a dramatic rise in the local consumption of natural gas and of course, when that happens prices go up.
Tuesday, Mayor Paulette Guajardo announced a new city initiative to give some of those gas customers a break on those higher bills.
According to Mayor Guajardo, the extreme weather event led to an increase in customer gas usage, for things such as generators, fireplaces, and heaters. Ultimately causing a market surge in gas prices to corpus residents and businesses.
“From February 12, 2021 to February 19, 2021, the city’s average monthly price jumped from $4.09 cents for 1000 cubic feet the week prior to over $100 for several days,” said Guajardo.
According to Mayor Guajardo, the city gets natural gas at wholesale prices and then passes those prices along to customers. Guajardo says they are working closely with the supplier to have customers pay back those high prices over time.
“It is very important for our residents and businesses to understand that this gas debt will have a financial impact on gas bills,” said Guajardo.
Mayor Guajardo said the price increase has caused natural gas costs to go from 1million dollars in January to tens of millions of dollars in February.
The city says they are conducting data analysis that will help ease the burden and ensure the program is equitable for all customers. This month the city says they will charge customers an adjusted price of $9.05 cents to ease the burden of the gas debt.
“In addition this increase in our bills is going to be felt for a very long time,” said Guajardo. Mayor Guajardo says the city expects to have a final plan in place in the next 30 days.
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