Customers in the Marshfield area paid an average of $17.52 more in June, when the so-called Power Cost Adjustment Clause hit 2.19 cents per kilowatt hour, News-Herald Media reported Tuesday. The PCAC lets utilities pass on the cost of buying or producing energy to customers.
It averaged .37 cents per kilowatt hour last year but has been averaging 1.4 cents per kilowatt hour so far this year.
Marshfield Utilities manager Bob Trussoni said it spent an extra $600,000 on power this year after the price of natural gas increased about seven times due to strong demand over the winter. Mild spring and summer temperatures have allowed power companies to store natural gas so the price may be lower next winter, he said.
The higher price also reflects fluctuations as power plants convert to natural gas. Trussoni said more pipelines are needed to move gas to plants to keep up with demand.
John Mueller, owner of Mueller Electric in Marshfield, said customers can reduce their bills by doing simple things, such as switching from fluorescent and incandescent bulbs to LED lights and lowering the temperature setting on hot water heaters.