Paying the Price: Gas prices are down and not impacting home cooling costs

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Posted at 5:53 PM, Jul 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-13 18:14:01-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Gas prices have dropped across central Kentucky over the last month. In some cases, you’re noticing a 40-50 cent/gallon price reduction. Which might not seem like much, but if you’re Tameara Powell, who makes round trips from Lexington to Louisville several times per week, it certainly adds up.

“The 50-cent drop has helped a lot,” she said while filling up the tank at a station on Newtown Pike.

Tameara is a student, so an extra ten dollars in her pocket means a lot and allows her to do some other things that a much more enjoyable.

“I am a girl, so I like to buy myself nice things and get my nails and hair done,” she joked, saying the savings at the pump allow her to do those other things.

One area where gas prices haven’t impacted your wallet is inside your HVAC system. While some have said they’re paying more to cool their homes this summer, it’s not entirely due to inflation.

“We have a lot of long-term contracts that mitigate the impact to customers and that reduce that volatility of costs,” said Daniel Lowry, a spokesman with Kentucky Utilities.

Lowry noted that a higher bill in June was due in large part to the excessive amount of heat we had last month. He did, however, allude to one factor that would’ve created a nominal increase.

“The fuel adjustment clause (you’ll see on your bill), is a regulatory mechanism that deals with near-real-time costs of fuel,” he explained. “Usually, it’s a very small percentage of your bill. We’re talking about a few dollars plus or minus,” he added.

Sometimes it’s reflected as a “minus” because it’ll show as a credit to the account rather than a debit that has to be paid. And most people LEX 18 spoke with for this story didn’t even notice that price difference.

Lowry said the cost of coal and natural gas around the world is higher than before, but because KU locks into a contracted purchase price for those resources years in advance, they aren’t at the mercy of the global markets changing over time. Because of that, neither are you when it comes to heating and cooling your home.

Lowry urges all KU customers to look at their bills and, more specifically, the usage hours to see what real reason might be behind any unusual spike in monthly costs.