The Story Behind Surging Natural Gas Bills Here in Minnesota
If you heat your home with natural gas, brace yourself for some serious sticker shock when you get your next home heating bill.
A majority of us hearty Minnesotans use natural gas to heat our homes and take the chill off an otherwise cold winter season-- and spring season (this year.) In fact, the US Energy Information Administration says just over two-thirds of Minnesota residents (66.1%) burn natural gas in their homes to stay warm.
So if you're in that same majority here in Minnesota, you might want to sit down when you open your next home heating bill. That's because the price of natural gas just hit a 14-year high Monday. According to this CNBC story, prices for natural gas just jumped 10% and are now trading at their highest prices since September 2008. And, natural gas prices are up a whopping 108% on the year, CNBC also said.
What's behind the increase? For once, it's NOT the pandemic. Instead, blame Mother Nature, who has given much of the U.S. a colder-than-usual spring. Average temperatures here in southeast Minnesota are between 6 and 7 degrees colder this spring than they were last year.
Record-high prices in Europe due to the Russia-Ukraine war are also increasing demand for global [liquified natural gas] shipments to the European Union as countries look to boycott Russian oil and natural gas. That in turn is further bolstering our domestic prices.
Has your bill gone up from last year? Our sure has. In fact, at our house in northwest Rochester, our April 2022 natural gas bill from Minnesota Energy Resources was almost $40 higher than it was in April of 2021. Over 12 months, that means you and I are paying nearly $500 more to stay warm this year compared to 2021!
It might help, though, if you happen to live in one of the areas of Minnesota where the cost of living isn't as higher. Keep scrolling to see if your city made the list of the Least Expensive Places to Live in Minnesota for 2021... or if you find a place you might want to move to in order to save some money!