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Morton Urges Residents, Businesses To Reduce Natural Gas Use

Village of Morton / Facebook

With the cost of natural gas spiking, officials in Morton are encouraging people to lower their thermostats a little despite below-freezing temperatures.

The village operates its own natural gas utility and has seen an unprecedented cost increase over the past week as power outages in Texas and Oklahoma limit production while extreme cold grips most of the Midwest.

“It's a combination of things, and unfortunately when those things happen (with) supply and demand, the prices go up--in this case, the prices are going up exponentially,” said public works director Craig Loudermilk.

“Right now, we’re seeing gas prices 100-to-300 times what the normal cost is. Here in Morton, from Feb. 12-16, we were paying for our incremental load--that would be our load above normal usage--we purchased gas for $224.56 a dekatherm, when typically it's trading around $3.”

Loudermilk said about 60% of the utility’s customers are industrial or commercial businesses. He said companies like Caterpillar, Inc., Matcor and Morton Industries have taken steps to curtail their natural gas usage for the time being.

Loudermilk said residential customers should consider keeping thermostats set at 68 degrees or lower and minimize using gas stoves and dryers through the weekend.

“We're just trying to lower our usage, so anything we can take off of that gas coming through our town meter is going to save everybody money--every business, every citizen,” he said.

“It's going to save not only your own bill, but everybody else’s. We're a small gas company, so every little bit that everybody does, everyone will feel that difference financially.”

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Contact Joe at jdeacon@ilstu.edu.