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Despite Fall In Oil Prices, Home Heating Costs Will Increase This Winter

 Despite Fall In Oil Prices, Home Heating Costs Will Increase This Winter

By Mike Scott

While the dramatic drop in oil prices has been very good news for drivers, it won’t translate into lower costs in keeping your homes warm this winter, say area experts.

“We’ve just completed the purchased gas adjustment (PGA), which sets our costs,” said Steve Green, Atmos Energy’s Public Affairs Manager for the area.

Last year’s Atmos PGA for northeast Missouri was $0.7876 per 100 cubic feet, and this year it will increase about 21% to $0.95430. Based on an average house’s usage of 830 ccf per season, you can expect to pay about $138 more this winter.

If you use propane to heat your home, then you can expect an increase of about 38 percent this season.

According to Heetco’s Bruce Uhlmeyer, propane’s cash price is currently $2.19 per gallon, up from $1.60 last year. An average home uses 800-900 gallons per season, so heating your home will cost you around $472 more than last year.

If your home has electric heat, you’ll still be paying more. In response to higher costs, the City of Kahoka raised it’s electric rates by one cent per kilowatt hour, a move which will cost the average Kahoka household about $12 per month more.

“Our wholesale electric costs locked in through 2011 now,” said City Assistant Jim Sherwood.

“We locked them in at a low spot, before they jumped higher,” Sherwood said.

The city made a long-term investment in the Prairie State Energy Campus, which will provide electricity at a fixed rate starting in late 2011 or 2012.

Rural electrical customers won’t see any relief from the falling oil prices, either.

“Most of our electricity is produced from coal,” said Lewis County REC’s Travis Mathes.