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Central Texas experienced historic winter weather the week of Feb. 14, with a stretch of days below freezing. Sleet followed snow followed freezing rain, leading to a breakdown of the electric grid and widespread power outages. Water reservoirs were depleted and frozen pipes burst, leaving some without service for days.

Texans Can Expect To See Higher Gas Bills After Last Week's Extreme Weather

Tire tracks through a snow-covered street.
Julia Reihs
The single-digit temperatures last week caused Austinites to turn up their heat. That high demand caused natural gas prices to soar.

The Texas Railroad Commission says natural gas customers should prepare for larger bills after last week’s winter storms.

The Railroad Commission, which oversees energy in the state (and not railroads), said in a statement last week that it will try to ease this financial burden.

“As Texans recover from the devastating effects of Winter Storm Uri, I am committed to utilizing all of the tools available to this agency to assist in the coming weeks,” RRC Chairman Christi Craddick said. “The Railroad Commission will be exploring all options in order to reduce the financial burden on Texans as we tackle the challenges that lie ahead together.”

Demand for natural gas soared as residents with power used natural gas to keep homes warm and water heated. Many gas suppliers also were dealing with frozen tanks, which caused demand to go even higher.

Because of that high demand, gas companies are paying a hefty price which will now trickle down to the consumers.

Gas suppliers, including Texas Gas Service, insist they are not exploiting customers, but just dealing with the costs of market volatility caused by the storm.

Claire McInerny is a former education reporter for KUT.
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