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Utility companies warn of rising prices, natural gas shortage




(WFSB) – As the global supply of natural gas dwindles, Eversource and other utility companies have sounded the alarm.

Bills have already gone up for some.

Eyewitness News caught up with someone in Berlin who described how one of his bills went over $200.

While Eversource has sounded the alarm bell, ISO New England, the region’s power grid operator, continues to say all should be well for the season.

ISO New England said there was enough supply for mild and moderate winter conditions.

The ISO said it was taking into account a typical New England winter, where it’s quite cold, and executives say they think the supply should be good.

“…We do not anticipate the need for controlled outages at this time. While prudent power system operation requires working with our utility and government agency partners to discuss and plan for the worst case, these situations are rare,” ISO said in a statement.

At their board meeting today, they discussed winter supply, as well as forecasts of increased energy needs for the next ten years.

This does not solve the problem of rising prices.

There are several assistance programs in the state, but you must act quickly because many people are already asking for help.

“Something’s got to give, I mean, somebody’s got to do something,” Vera Rogers said.

Vera’s bills keep rising and how things play out with supply shortages and the ongoing war in Ukraine, the peak remains to be seen.

Vera said it was something she had to deal with.

“I have a child with autism at home and I have to babysit it for her. I mean, like, my furnace is electric start, so I have to keep it on so I can keep my heat so she’s warm in winter,” Vera said.

Eversource CEO Joseph Nolan sent a letter to President Biden asking for help with natural gas supplies, warning of rising prices and potential power outages.

Brenda Watson is the executive director of Operation Fuel.

They help families with energy bills.

Their next grant cycle starts in December, but they’ve already seen higher interest and they gave a little more than usual in their last cycle, which ended last month.

“We didn’t see this influx of demand at the height of COVID,” Watson said. “We’re almost $800,000 over budget and we’re worried about what the next few months will bring.”

To ensure that more people get help, they are considering reducing grant amounts. With rising costs, that might not be an option.

“Fuel dealers are asking us to increase the amount of the subsidy because $5,000 is not enough to fill the tanks when the price of fuel is what it is,” Watson said.

There are other programs, like the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program.

Utility companies warn of rising electricity prices