Rising gas prices… and I don’t mean the kind that goes in your car…

I remember the “good ol’ days” when the bill from The Gas Company was like $3 a month. (Oops, maybe I shouldn’t date myself by admitting that.)

I just got our last gas bill (living in LA, we do not use the heater… our gas furnace is not even lit!) and it was a whopping $40.96. We don’t cook (use the oven/stove), save for boiling an occasional pot of water for ramen. We do, however, have a gas washer/dryer… and of course, use hot water to shower. But that’s it, and hot water and clean clothes are necessities in my book.

Now, I don’t know what people in other places (places that are actually cold) pay for gas, but I know what I used to pay for gas as recently as a few months ago.

I’ll cite the amounts of my last year’s worth of gas bills (dates based on the month of the meter reading):

Feb 2006 $40.96

Jan 2006 $39.51
Dec 2005 $22.51
Nov 2005 $18.63
Oct 2005 $16.21
Sep 2005 $13.77
Aug 2005 $12.98

Feb 2005 $24.52

The major difference seems to be the baseline rate as my gas usage has only slightly increased since the same time last year. In Feb 2005, the baseline rate per therm was $0.87579; in Feb 2006, it’s $1.17692… a 35% increase in rate since last year! But of course an increase in this rate also increases the public purpose surcharge, as well.

The bottom line is that my gas bill has shot up more than 67% from the same billing cycle from one year ago.

What’s up with that?!

6 Replies to “Rising gas prices… and I don’t mean the kind that goes in your car…”

  1. You too?? So I’m not going crazy after all. My gas bill went from about $20 in December to $42.05 last month for my studio apartment. Granted, I cook a lot and I was running the heater, but not much more than I was in December. Plus my property management pays for water heater.

    A friend of mine brought this issue up a couple of weeks ago when he got his bill, a couple of days before I got mine. He lives in a two bedroom house, so his bill was something to the tune of $130… and somehow his house still manages to stay uncomfortably cold!

  2. That’s only $1.36 a day — still seems like a good deal to me. On the other hand, it does seem high for a small place. My 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1975 sf house witrh gas forced-air heat, gas dryer and cooking, plus a child, only runs $70 a month on even billing — which is a great way to minimize the pain — just over $2 a day. Still a bargain, even if it’s not the bargain it wass last year at $46 a month.

  3. In the United States at large, the amount of natural gas we’re able to get (drilling and importing) is reeeally close to how much we’re using. There ain’t a whole lot of room to grow, and not a whole lot of places to get more from.

    All across the world, people are having this same sort of problem with natural gas. In parts of Eastern Europe, Russia is the main supplier, and they’ve been having a tough time supplying, in the face of a supercold winter.

    So, yeah, expect the natural gas bills to probably go up some more over the next year, too, sadly.

  4. Where have you people been? Have you not heard the bazillion news stories about rising natural gas prices over the past couple of years, especially for this winter? Here is an interesting explanation from the Dept. of Energy — points out that the rising costs factor in weak production, rising oil prices, transportation costs (gas prices), and falling inventories: http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/brochure/oil_gas/natgas04/Chapter1.htm. Even when you call SoCal Gas the hold message says something like, “SoCal Gas customers can expect up to a 40% higher this winter”. http://www.socalgas.com/residential/prices/

  5. That’s odd. My gas bill keeps going down. you should try checking marking the box labled “have some other schmuck pay for my gas”. I’ve been checking that box for over a year now and I’m getting great results.

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