Natural gas prices have dropped -- even more for Sandusky residents

Sue Daugherty
Mar 23, 2010


In July — after Serving Our Seniors exhausted its Utility Assistance fund helping older people who received shut-off notices — I was fretting about the cost of home heating for the 2008/2009 heating season. In July, natural gas prices were ranging between $1.35 per ccf to $1.56 per ccf for a fixed rate. I'm happy to report that those prices have gone down.

Now this is unusual for this time of the year. Normally, natural gas prices drop in the summer, when there is little demand and the prices increase in the fall and winter months. That's not what happened this year.

On Oct. 5th the Ohio Consumers Counsel posted the new rates for natural gas.

These rates change every week, but on September 28 consumer prices for natural gas (fixed rates) ranged from $1.195/ccf (Vectren Source 800-516-6740) to $1.49/ccf (IGS Energy 877-444-7427)

But if you are fortunate enough to live within the city limits of Sandusky, you can buy natural gas for $1.0368/ccf. And if you are age 65 or older and the primary owner of the residence, your rate is $1.026/ccf.

The city of Sandusky signed a two year agreement with Direct Energy. The fixed rate stated above won't change for the first 12 months of this new contract. This rate will take effect December 2008.

To illustrate the significant savings the City of Sandusky negotiated with Direct Energy, let me compare it to the price Direct Energy has posted on the Ohio Consumers' Counsel Web site (as of September 28) — $1.349/ccf. According to the City of Sandusky's press release, all you need to do is "opt in." To "opt in" simply call Direct Energy at 866-803-4618 beginning October 24.

If you are age 60 or older and find navigating through this process is too confusing, call Serving Our Seniors office at 419-624-1856 and ask for help. Through the use of three-way calling we will call Direct Energy and facilitate the conversation so you can "opt in" to this new natural gas rate.