Natural gas in high demand creates high electric bills - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Natural gas in high demand creates high electric bills

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- There was quite the shock for many Arkansans when the utility bill came this month. The cold winter has caused a high demand and when the demand is up, so are the prices.  

"This has caused an upward pressure for natural gas supplies both here in Arkansas and around the nation, which has caused an increase in the price per kilowatt hour, that consumers are going to have to pay," said Forest Kessinger with Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas.

Kessinger said about a year ago natural gas cost them $4 per million BTU. Today it's $40 for the same amount. The electric cooperatives use three major sources to generate power.

"One of them is coal, one of them is hydro-electric and the other is natural gas," said Kessinger.

Hydro electric has a steady price because the river is a constant source, but it's coal that makes up a majority of their generation. 

"Coal prices are very steady and are steady overall all of the months of the year, so we don't see spikes in coal prices," said Kessinger.

It's the use of coal that has some at the federal government, including Congress worried about the burning of coal to generate power. Opponents of coal fear its use could be harming the environment.

For electric utilities, like the Electric Cooperatives, getting rid of coal as a generation method would send bills sky-rocketing even higher. Right now the power co-op is marketing a "mix" of all three sources as the best way to generate electricity.

"About 70 to 75 percent of our generation comes from coal with another five percent coming from hydro," said Kessinger. "If it were coming 100 percent from natural gas we would be susceptible to these natural gas spikes in all of our generation, and would be a very high bill indeed."

Copyright 2014 KAIT. All rights reserved.

  • Local News on KCBD.comNewsMore>>

  • Budget battle brews as Trump threatens another shutdown

    Budget battle brews as Trump threatens another shutdown

    Sunday, May 27 2018 8:04 AM EDT2018-05-27 12:04:06 GMT
    Sunday, May 27 2018 7:44 PM EDT2018-05-27 23:44:52 GMT
    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File). FILE - In this March 30, 2017, file photo, the Capitol Dome is seen at dawn in Washington. The Senate has kicked off its annual attempt to pass government funding bills. Success is hardly assured, but President Don...(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File). FILE - In this March 30, 2017, file photo, the Capitol Dome is seen at dawn in Washington. The Senate has kicked off its annual attempt to pass government funding bills. Success is hardly assured, but President Don...

    President Donald Trump has warned Congress that he'll never sign another trillion dollar plus government-wide spending bill like the one he did in March.

    President Donald Trump has warned Congress that he'll never sign another trillion dollar plus government-wide spending bill like the one he did in March.

  • Soldiers recall carnage of Alaska WWII battle 75 years later

    Soldiers recall carnage of Alaska WWII battle 75 years later

    Sunday, May 27 2018 11:34 AM EDT2018-05-27 15:34:09 GMT
    Sunday, May 27 2018 7:44 PM EDT2018-05-27 23:44:39 GMT
    (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen). In this May 19, 2018, photo World War II veterans Allan Seroll, left, of Massachusetts, and William Roy Dover, right, of Alabama, right, attend a 75th anniversary celebration of the Battle of Attu in Anchorage, Alaska. Dover w...(AP Photo/Mark Thiessen). In this May 19, 2018, photo World War II veterans Allan Seroll, left, of Massachusetts, and William Roy Dover, right, of Alabama, right, attend a 75th anniversary celebration of the Battle of Attu in Anchorage, Alaska. Dover w...

    One of the bloodiest World War II battles in the Pacific was waged 75 years ago this month on Attu Island in Alaska's Aleutian Islands.

    One of the bloodiest World War II battles in the Pacific was waged 75 years ago this month on Attu Island in Alaska's Aleutian Islands.

  • Florida panhandle braces for impact as Alberto approaches

    Florida panhandle braces for impact as Alberto approaches

    Saturday, May 26 2018 11:23 PM EDT2018-05-27 03:23:47 GMT
    Sunday, May 27 2018 7:44 PM EDT2018-05-27 23:44:30 GMT
    (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis). Tommy Whitlock, left, places a filled sand bag onto his trailer at a Harrison County Road Department sand bag location, as his friend Joseph Buckner adjusts the load while preparing for Subtropical Storm Alberto to make its...(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis). Tommy Whitlock, left, places a filled sand bag onto his trailer at a Harrison County Road Department sand bag location, as his friend Joseph Buckner adjusts the load while preparing for Subtropical Storm Alberto to make its...

    The governors of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi all declared states of emergency ahead of the storm.

    The governors of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi all declared states of emergency ahead of the storm.

Powered by Frankly