Scribner approves relief for spike in natural gas bills

Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 10:41 AM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The City of Scribner, Neb. has approved $93,000 in relief for natural gas customers.

Natural gas prices soared at record highs in Scribner due to the cold snap in late February.

“We already had 82% of our volume bought ahead of the vortex, meaning our price was locked in at about $3.50 a mmBtu,” explained City Administrator, Elmer Armstrong. “The bad news is, when we were running low, we had to buy some on the spot at about $210 per mmBtu for four of the five days when we experienced the coldest week. This was painful, as it cost our city an extra $101,000 of natural gas.”

According to Scribner’s Economic Development Director Elizabeth Valla, the bill for her 1,800 square foot home would have normally been about $570. After the cold snap and shortage of gas, her bill was $970.

“COVID happened then Christmas, and now we hit everybody with a huge utility bill, it just didn’t seem right or fair,” said Mayor Ken Thomas. “Our residents are our greatest asset, they need to know we’ll take care of them.”

Scribner city leaders called an emergency council meeting the same day bills were supposed to go out and unanimously voted in support of dipping into the city’s reserve to take care of the spike in gas.

The city plans to pay this money back to the reserve with profits from the city’s new electrical generation plant.

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