Columbia Gas says expect to pay more to heat your home this winter

Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 7:47 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Everything seems to cost more these days, including groceries, gas, and mortgages so it’s no surprise that utility bills could go up too. As the cold weather starts to roll in, you may want to think twice about turning up the heat too much.

“Across the country gas prices, like most household products right now, are spiking in cost,” said Amanda DePerro, the communications specialist the Columbia Gas of Ohio.

That’s definitely true for one local Columbia Gas customer who is expecting a huge price hike for the season.

“Everybody’s family budget is run like a business. It’s all in the numbers. I was surprised this time because I always use Columbia Gas and I’ve always been on their budget plan, and my payment’s always been 100 bucks a month. I got my bill this year, and it was $169.”

She said she was expecting some kind of increase but nothing this high. Columbia Gas is requesting a rate hike of 27%.

“Last year COVID was in effect too, and my budget went up $20, and they’re talking in the percentage range on the news of 20 percent. $100 to $169 is not 20 percent, do the math.”

Columbia Gas does say better news could be on the horizon: “Market forecasts are projecting this is a short-term spike. Production levels will rise to match the market demand more closely after the winter is over, and that should bring gas prices back in the line long term, but we understand customers are facing challenges in paying their bill,” said DePerro.

But this year, many people could be needing assistance to pay that pricey gas bill. There are options in our area, including the Special Reconnect Order from the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and the Winter Crisis Program at Pathway Toledo.

“This program is designed to help clients who are in threat of disconnection, their services are about to be turned off, or they need to transfer to a new service,” said Claudia Rodriguez-Salazar, the director of emergency assistance and empowerment services at Pathway Toledo. “We will be assisting clients in order for them to keep warm this winter.”

Pathway Toledo has other programs to help Lucas County residents pay the bills this winter.

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