The Public Service Commission forecasts a costly winter ahead.

The PSC studies what speculators are doing with the prices of fuel used for heating in the winter. And Chairman Jeff Davis warns of higher utility bills. He says Missouri consumers scan look for a twenty percent increase in their home heating bills this winter compared to the 2006-2007 heating season.

He thinks bills will be up this year, if for no other reason than the fact that we had a relatively mild winter last time—meaning bills will be higher this year if Missouri has an average winter. He says the same price increase is likely to be felt by those who have their own propane or fuel oil tanks.

Davis reminds those worried about paying their bills of the commission’s cold weather rule, which kicks in next week (November first) Davis says consumers should be contacting their utilities now to register for the program so they qualify for that program and other programs that are available.

Davis thinks utilities have done a good job on hedging their gas prices for the winter. But he says colder weather means more gas-use for heating and that will mean higher bills.


Download Bob Priddy’s story (:60 mp3)