Lincoln, NE – August 12, 2022 – Imagine being able to pay the same price for a gallon of gasoline or a gallon of milk for a year – no matter how much market prices fluctuate.
Each summer, Black Hills Energy offers customers in eastern Nebraska a similar opportunity through its Annual Price Option (APO) program, which allows residential customers to lock in their per-therm price of natural gas supply for one year.
Residential customers can enroll in the APO beginning Aug. 15 at www.blackhillsenergy.com/annual-price-option or by calling 800-753-7509. Enrollment ends Oct. 7, 2022, or when 12,000 customers have enrolled – whichever comes first. The locked-in commodity price will be in effect from Nov. 1, 2022, through Oct. 31, 2023. Since there is no automatic rollover year-to-year, customers must re-enroll if they’d like to remain in the APO program.
“The increased cost of natural gas is the primary driver of higher monthly utility costs for both electric and natural gas customers across the country. Natural gas prices have increased substantially over the past year-plus – doubling and even tripling from the historically low prices that we’ve become accustomed to the past 8-10 years,” said Kevin Jarosz, Black Hills Energy’s vice president of operations in Nebraska.
Customers’ bills will still fluctuate based on how much natural gas supply is used by the Customer. This change is due primarily to cold weather. A customer’s gas consumption and billing level is also affected by the efficiency of natural gas appliances, how well a home is weatherized and other standard Company billing items.
“This APO program is helpful for customers who are looking for more consistency and predictability in their budgets, especially during cold winter months. It’s important to note that Black Hills Energy does not make money on the cost of natural gas supply – customers are charged the same price as the Company pays for the cost of the commodity with zero markup from Black Hills Energy. Just like any commodity, supply and demand influence the market price for natural gas. By signing up for the Annual Price Option program, you’ll know the gas supply price you’ll pay, regardless of what the natural gas supply market does,” said Jarosz.
Customers who don’t wish to participate in APO will continue to be billed using Black Hills Energy’s traditional natural gas supply rate. The price of traditional billing will fluctuate with market conditions.
All Black Hills Energy customers are welcome to sign up for Budget Billing. This program provides stabilized monthly billing, which helps avoid spikes during the peak of heating season.
The 2022-23 APO price per therm is $0.87649, compared to the 2021-22 price of $0.52797.*