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MidAmerican Energy prepares customers for higher natural gas bills

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Natural gas customers in Iowa are expected to have higher-than-normal heating bills this winter.

MidAmerican Energy on Tuesday alerted its customers that higher natural gas prices will impact most monthly heating bills during the upcoming winter season. The company said natural gas market prices have more than doubled from this time last year, as increased global demand coupled with both limited production and inventory have heavily increased the cost for MidAmerican to purchase the natural gas it delivers to its customers.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley was asked about the natural gas issue during his most recent Capitol Hill Report with Iowa reporters.

AUDIO: U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley

“There are some things that this administration has done that makes domestic production of all this stuff worse such as limiting drilling on public lands, shutting down ANWR in Alaska, not going with the (Keystone) XL Pipeline, the administrative bodies not giving access for pipelines and things of that nature,” said Grassley. “That all hurts, but it’s also a global problem in dealing with the pandemic and supply chain and all of that.”

“I’ve heard from farmers here very recently,” Grassley continued, “that they can’t even get a price for anhydrous ammonia. That’s how bad the situation is. They don’t even know what to charge you because they don’t know what they are going to pay for input. Most of it is related to the increase in the price of natural gas.”

A press release from MidAmerican Energy says the higher market prices will affect a customer’s gas supply charge, which is the cost of the natural gas the customer uses. Market price fluctuations do not affect rates, which include fixed administrative costs, as well as costs associated with maintaining infrastructure and ensuring safety.

The company also says actual bill impacts will vary by customer due to usage as temperatures get colder and market prices continue to fluctuate. But, based on the market prices for natural gas over the last month, residential customers in MidAmerican’s service area can likely expect their total bills to increase by 46-96%.

The heating season runs from November through March.