Understanding and Managing Higher Energy Bills

Nov 21, 2022

Just as the cost of food and other day-to-day products are on the rise, so too is the cost of energy. These increases are the result of a combination of supply and demand factors that gradually impacted markets over the course of the past year or so. Factors that are currently impacting high gas prices and increased bill amounts include the cost of natural gas, weather, the lingering effects of Covid-19, and an increase in usage. 


Natural Gas Prices

While prices for natural gas are currently high, natural gas is still expected to remain one of the lowest utility bills customers will incur each month.*

* Reference for comparative numbers and metrics regarding current energy prices:


The price of natural gas is determined by regional and national markets and passed on directly to customers. Summit Utilities does not earn additional profits from higher supply prices. We purchase natural gas on behalf of customers from the commercial market and passes the cost straight through to customers with no markup or profit. In essence, we pay what you pay and the cost we pass on to you is reviewed by regulators.


Providing safe, reliable, and affordable energy solutions to our customers is central to our mission at Summit. Our gas supply team uses competitive bidding platforms to seek out reasonable prices for supply based on market conditions, customer requirements, and service obligations. Our goal is to provide a diversified gas supply portfolio consisting of an appropriate combination of gas supply contracts, storage, and hedging instruments across multiple suppliers that yield a balance of reliability, reduced price volatility, and reasonable prices.


Winter Weather Temperatures

During winter months, cooler weather means customers are using more natural gas to heat their homes, warm their water, cook family meals, keep fireplaces burning, and more. If health permits, you could save on heating costs by lowering your thermostat several degrees. When days are cold, bundle up and lower your thermostat between 65°F and 68°F, and keep it even cooler at night. For more simple and easy tips to save money and energy, click here.


Increased Appliance Usage

Increased use of appliances can impact your bill as well. For most, the holidays include family gatherings, guests visiting, and more time spent indoors. Your natural gas appliances work harder during colder weather. This can cause your bill to be higher. For example, water heaters work longer and harder to keep your water hot, which could increase natural gas usage. Similarly, your furnace runs longer to keep your house warm when temperatures outside drop. Also, if you are using your natural gas fireplace for additional heating, you are cooking more, or have guests in your home, your natural gas bill could also increase during those times.


Bills Past Due

Any past due amount on your current bill will cause that bill to be higher than normal.


We’re Here to Help

We understand receiving higher than normal bills can be stressful, but we are here to help. That’s why we offer energy-saving tools, tips, and services to help our customers save money, use less energy, and lower their monthly bills year-round.


Financial Aid & Assistance Programs

Summit’s culture encourages being a valued community partner. Supporting our service areas with safe, dependable, and affordable natural gas includes offering programs to help those in need. These programs are available to those who qualify for home heating needs through federally funded programs and crisis assistance offered by counties. If you or someone you know is having trouble paying your natural gas bill, explore our payment assistance program offerings.

Payment Assistance Programs

Utilize your online customer account features:

  • Monitor energy consumption: creating an online account allows 24/7 access to useful tools like viewing your natural gas consumption throughout the billing period.
  • Levelized bill pay options: Sign up for a level pay plan which averages your annual natural gas usage and costs over 12 months. Customers then pay an average bill amount each month instead of actual charges.


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