Spire bills to rise about $14 monthly in St. Louis area

Missouri

ST. LOUIS – Spire customers in Missouri are about to see a hike in their natural gas bills starting November 30. The rise in rates will be for both Spire East and West customers.

Spire East residential customers will see a 22 cent increase per therm while Spire West will see a 39 cent increase per therm. Spire East serves customers in St. Louis and Spire West serves people on the Kansas City side of the state.

A Spire spokesperson said on average, that will be a $14.52 increase for Spire East customers. It will be more for Spire West customers with an average increase of $24.36.

Spire says the price increase is two-fold. The rise is in part to the cost of natural gas during last February’s Polar Vortex and the overall rise of natural gas costs.

Spire said the Public Service Commission has also allowed the utility to spread the cost over a three-year period. A Spire spokesperson also stressed that the utility doesn’t make money from the cost of natural gas. The hike is to cover the cost of the increase.

The utility said the Spire STL pipeline is why the increase is less for customers in the eastern part of Missouri. Spire said during last year’s Polar Vortex it was able to tap into natural gas from the northeast but on the western side of the state, it had to rely on gas from the south.

The rise in natural gas prices comes as Spire is waiting to learn if the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will extend the company’s emergency certificate past December 13.

Back in June, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the approval for the 65-mile long pipeline in 2018 was unlawful, leaving some customers worried about the future.

In October, Spire asked the U.S. Supreme Court to allow it to keep operating to no avail. The court ruled that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission “failed to adequately balance public benefits and adverse impacts” of the pipeline. The court also questioned the pipeline’s necessity.

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