NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Keeping your home warm this winter will likely cost you more than last year. The price of natural gas is up and reflected in the new rates set by Piedmont Natural Gas.
Piedmont, which shops around natural gas and then passes the cost directly to customers, announced in the fall that it would be adjusting what it bills customers in Tennessee. The estimated bill increase for the average residential customer in Tennessee is approximately $10.40 more per month or $125 per year. However, increases also depend on the amount of natural gas used and a customer’s rate class.
Glenn Harla of Mt. Juliet said his latest bill is the highest bill he's ever received from Piedmont.
"$183 for my next bill coming up that I'll pay this January and last year it was $110. And based on current usage I'm using less and paying more," Harla said.
Harla is retired and lives on a fixed income. As it gets colder, he and his wife are expecting their gas bills to be top $200 dollars due to higher usage rate.
"We still have to hit the heart of winter, so you're probably talking $250 to $300 gas bills. It's a shock not just to me, but to everybody," Harla said.
If a customer can't pay their bill on time, Piedmont directs them to financial aid resources in their community, including the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP). It provides winter heating assistance to pay for gas, electric and other methods customers use to heat their homes. The company also suggests contacting Tennessee Housing Development Agency.
Another option is to sign up for Piedmont's Equal Payment Program. The program evenly distributes a customer's payments over a 12-month period.