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Higher natural gas bills likely this winter, utility says

The entrance to One Piedmont Town Center, headquarters of Piedmont Natural Gas in Charlotte.
The entrance to One Piedmont Town Center, headquarters of Piedmont Natural Gas in Charlotte.

Residential customers are likely to pay $20 to $30 a month more for natural gas this winter compared to last year, Charlotte-based Piedmont Natural Gas says.

Piedmont’s annual winter forecast covers November through March in its service territory of the Carolinas and Tennessee. This year’s forecast follows a federal Energy Information Administration outlook in projecting significantly colder weather.

Last year’s winter was about 20 percent warmer than normal in Piedmont’s territory. Natural gas is often used for heating, so bills go up the colder it gets.

Piedmont expects total winter bills for its residential customers to range from $430 to $550, compared to the $545 EIA estimate for the South.

Higher wholesale gas costs will also make bills rise. Piedmont is required to pass fuel costs to customers without making a profit on them.

Piedmont, which is now a subsidiary of Duke Energy, has energy saving tips on its website.

Bruce Henderson: 704-358-5051, @bhender

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