As we switch our thermostats from cool to heat this fall, get ready to pay more to heat your home.

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is advising natural gas customers in the state to prepare for rising prices in the coming months.

The PUC isn't saying home much of an increase there will be, but says the price hikes are all tied to the global supply of natural gas.

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In a press release, the PUC explained that 70 percent of the price of natural gas is determined by market factors like supply and demand, weather, production, storage levels, and imports and exports.

In 2022, a natural gas shortage in Europe, brought on by the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, coupled with increased demand for natural gas worldwide, has sent prices upward.

In the United States, nearly half of all U.S. homes still rely on natural gas as their primary heating fuel source.

The PUC is reminding consumers of steps that can be taken to cut back on natural gas consumption:

  • Install a programmable thermostat
  • Contacting your utility company to ask about a budget billing plan
  • Conduct a home energy audit
  • Lower your theromstat
  • Maintain and upgrade your appliances
  • Change furnace filters regularly

See a list of frequently asked questions about natural gas pricing on the PUC’s website.

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