ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — After the historic, weeklong winter weather event that recently swept across the country, Roanoke Gas customers can expect to see larger numbers than usual on their March bills due to the impact of that storm on natural gas costs.
According to a statement released by Roanoke Gas on Tuesday, Feb. 23, the nationwide winter storm from Feb. 13 through Feb. 20 affected natural gas supply and market pricing throughout the United States, including the supply and pricing points used by Roanoke Gas Company to deliver natural gas to its Roanoke service area.
According to Roanoke Gas President and CEO Paul Nester, “Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those in Texas and the many others throughout the country impacted by this storm.”
The company says its natural gas purchases on Valentine’s Day weekend exceeded $21 per dekatherm (“DTH”), resulting in an aggregate increase in the cost of natural gas purchases for these eight days of approximately $3 million.
Put in context, Roanoke Gas says its entire fiscal 2020 natural gas purchases added up to a total of $14.9 million. In addition, company officials say they buy natural gas at a wholesale rate and pass the cost of the gas to their customers without any markup.
However, starting with the March bills, the company reportedly plans to implement rates to begin the recovery process for these increased gas costs.
As a result, Roanoke Gas says customers will see their cost of gas increase by approximately 68 percent effective March 1.
“We have worked diligently to moderate the impact to our customers,” Nester said with regard to the price jump for Roanoke Gas customers. “However, it may take up to 2 years for these costs to be fully recovered.”
Nester further commented about the company’s gas supply portfolio: “This is a real-time, real-world example of the need for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (“MVP”) and the gas it will supply our customers and others throughout the United States. If the MVP had been in service, we believe we would have saved our customers significant commodity gas costs by delivering gas from the prolific and affordable Appalachian Basin. On the critical Valentine’s Day weekend, the MVP pricing point was consistently in the $4.00 per DTH range. As these numbers indicate, the flexibility and supply diversity that MVP would have provided are material. This event has proven how much this region, our state and country need the MVP.”