Baltimore Gas and Electric (BG&E) anticipates winter gas heating bills will be “comparable” to last year because of expected milder weather based on forecasts by the National Weather Service. The weather is expected to translate into decreased demand, which should help keep bills in line despite an estimated 15% rise in natural gas costs, the utility said.

BGE said it expects to have an “adequate” supply of gas on hand to meet winter heating needs because of its stored gas and long-term contracts.

“We expect the market price for natural gas to be significantly higher this year as compared to last,” said Johnny Magwood, vice president of customer services. “To help our customers cope with higher heating costs, we strongly encourage them to consider budget payment plans, other natural gas suppliers, and energy conservation measures.”

BGE purchases and stores 40% of its winter gas requirements during the summer to ensure an adequate winter supply. At least 10% of its winter gas is bought at fixed prices to help alleviate the impact of price volatility on the remaining 50% of its supply.

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