Saturday, October 31, 2015

Energy & Transportation Update

Customers Could See Lower Winter Heating Costs

Low wholesale natural gas prices could result in lower heating bills for many this winter. In much of the country, natural gas utilities periodically adjust rates based on the cost of natural gas in the wholesale market. In Missouri, both Missouri Gas Energy and Laclede Gas have lowered rates base on wholesale fuel prices.

Gas price is a significant portion of the variable costs that are accounted for in the rate. Rates also include a utilities fixed costs, such as the cost of pipes and other infrastructure, that do not vary much over time.

The total cost of heating is affected by other factors. In particular, the length and severity of cold periods affects the amount of natural gas used. Even if the unit price of gas is lower, if more is used because there are more cold days or colder days, the total paid for gas could go up.

USDA Grants $2.9M to Missouri for Ethanol Distribution

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership granted $2.9 million to Missouri to increase the availability of ethanol. The state anticipates the grant will aid retailers in the installation of 171 pumps for fuels that contain ethanol. You can find more about this grant here.

Ethanol is a type of alcohol used for fuel; for automobiles it is typically blended with gasoline. Missouri requires most gasoline sold to contain 10 percent ethanol, though some vehicles can run on fuel that is as much as 85 percent ethanol (E-85).

$10M Federal Grant to Aid Missouri-Illinois Bridge Replacement

The federal government has committed $10 million to the construction of a bridge to replace the Champ Clark Bridge at Louisiana, MO. The bridge links U.S. 54 in Missouri and Illinois. Illinois has committed funding for its share of the cost, but Missouri is still seeking much of the $30 million needed for its share. You can find out more about this project here.


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