Look at this little piece of news:
As heating bills soar, there’s news that gas companies may start charging you for turning down your thermostat. State regulators may soon allow a surcharge on your bills, if you use too little gas. Lobbyists for AMEREN and Laclede Gas claim when you turn down the heat because of warm weather or to conserve energy, the companies have no way to recoup losses. So they’re pushing to re-write state rules on what they can charge you. Consumer groups like Heat-Up St. Louis, which help pay heating bills call the proposal outrageous.Utility executives say as gas driers, water heaters, and furnaces have become more efficient, strict state billing regulations haven’t kept pace. Nearly all of customers’ bills are costs Laclede Gas directly passes on; including the rising cost of natural gas, plus taxes; only 3% of the bill goes to the utility. The Missouri Public Service Commission sets gas rates, based on how much you’re expected to use. Under a new state law, the commission must come up with new rules to make up for times when you don’t use as much gas as they thought you would. A commission spokesman says the surcharge amounts to a fraction of what you save by turning down the thermostat.Here’s the number to let the public service commission know what you think : Area code (573) 751-3234. The commission will consider the proposal at its meetings in Jefferson City in January.