HOUSTON – Viewers reached out to KPRC 2 Investigates after they received a new fee for their natural gas bill. The new fee is to offset expenses the natural gas company incurred during the winter storm. But for some, it means an extra $1,000 over the next 18 months.
Norman Miller is a Conroe resident and a customer of Unigas, a natural gas provider. He and his wife Sherry recently received a bill almost four times higher than what they normally pay.
“This is crazy. I can’t afford to pay that,” said Miller. “I’m retired. I draw a social security check.”
The Miller’s natural gas bill went from an average of $30 a month to more than $120 a month.
Unigas was taking on what it calls a “Weather Event Installment Fee.” It’s to make up for the elevated prices Unigas was forced to pay on the open market when the winter storm caused a natural gas shortage.
Miller wonders why Unigas didn’t stock up on natural gas in advance of the storm so they wouldn’t run out and have to pay the elevated prices.
“If I screw up in my personal life, I correct it myself,” said Miller. “I don’t ask somebody else to bail me out.”
Chris O’Brien, a Lake Jackson resident, received a similar bill from his natural gas provider.