Local News

Natural Gas Officials Claim Supply/Demand To Blame For High Gas Bills

Posted March 17, 2003 5:58 a.m. EST

— Natural gas prices are spiking upward, hitting many consumers in the wallet. On Monday, natural gas distributors and the state Utilities Commission met to discuss the situation.

Officials say a 10 percent rate hike hit consumers just when the cold weather hit the area. The cold weather created more demand for natural gas, making supplies more expensive.

Some customers are struggling to pay the higher rates and often seek assistance from other organizations such as Urban Ministries of Raleigh.

"We are seeing anywhere from a 50 percent to 60 percent increase [a month] in the bills that they are used to getting," said Dora Mullins, of Urban Ministries of Raleigh.

"We passed the wholesale cost of gas through the customers, and as a result of that, their bills are going to go up," said Bill Williams, of PSNC Energy.

Officials also warn that with the threat of war, gas prices could go higher.