Weatherproofing Offers to Even Out Natural Gas Bills
In this uncertain world Pittsburgh-based Weatherwise USA is
offering to eliminate one weather-related stress factor - that of
skyrocketing gas heating and cooling bills. The Weatherwise
WeatherProof Bills program claims to be the first to offer a
fixed-price gas service that eliminates weather- and gas
price-related uncertainty for individual consumers.
Kansas Gas Service, a division of ONEOK, recently became the
first regulated utility to join in an alliance with Weatherwise to
offer the service to its customers. "The WeatherProof Bill is
particularly attractive to budget-conscious consumers who value
simplicity and predictability in their energy bills," said Bernie
Bilski, president of Pittsburgh-based Weatherwise.
While some marketers offer special weather-related hedging
products to more sophisticated wholesale customers, Weatherwise
takes over the risk and cost evaluation for individual consumers.
The company uses sophisticated software to compute a consumer's
WeatherProof Bill based on previous natural gas consumption,
contracted gas prices, average temperatures and administrative
costs. Fred Beorn, a Weatherwise vice president, said Kansas Gas
Service will offer the levelized, firm price billing to customers
while his company "will serve as a backroom operation" for the
service. "We serve as aggregators and then lay off the risk with
other companies such as Enron or Aquila" through their hedging
Kansas Gas Service has received approval from the Kansas
Corporation Commission for a 12-month pilot program in a limited
area. If that is successful the program will be offered to all
Weatherwise USA has a variety of utility company parents. It
currently is owned by En-able which is a partnership of KN Energy
ProLiance, whose parents are two Indiana utilities; DQ Energy
Partners, an affiliate of Duquesne Light; and AllEnergy Marketing,
an affiliate of New England Electric Systems.
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