‘We have a big problem’: Fargo man says gas bill tripled in one month

Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 5:27 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The price of natural gas is surging nationwide, the midwest particularly hard hit. The cost to heat your home could increase by 50% making this winter the most expensive in more than a decade.

“Well I was so surprised when I opened my Xcel bill,” said Clem Sorgaard.

He says his gas bill triple in one month. In October he paid $33, this month he’s paying $105 even though he is using fewer therms.

“I thought there has to be some sort of mistake,” said Sorgaard.

But, there wasn’t. A chart on the bill indicated the price of gas had gone from $1.41 in Nov. 2020 to $3.63 in Nov. 2021. Sorgaard says he’s aware of the cause.

“We have a big problem...inflation,” said Sorgaard.

Xcel Energy officials said the price increase comes as the demand for natural gas soars, but production hasn’t rebounded from the pandemic. The company made it clear they do not make a profit on the increased prices. Sorgaard said the company told him the increase is only temporary. He said he and his wife will be able to pay the expensive bill, but he is worried about others.

“Paying their bills...” said Sorgaard, “This time of year especially with the holidays coming.”

Xcel Energy offers payment plans for those struggling to pay their bill with the increased prices. They also offered tips on how to save money:

  • Lower your thermostat a few degrees, ideally to 68 degrees or lower.
  • Adjust your programmable thermostat to automatically lower the temperature while you are away or while you sleep.
  • During daylight hours, open drapes and blinds to maximize heat from direct sunlight. To retain heat, keep them closed when it is dark.
  • Run ceiling fans in a clockwise direction to push warm air down from the ceiling, adding comfort and savings.
  • Keep interior doors open to help circulate air more freely and maintain constant heating levels.

In North Dakota, The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps eligible low-income families afford home heating costs.

In Minnesota, The Energy Assistance Program helps pay for home heating costs for income-qualified households.

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