Natural Gas Prices

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Sharply rising natural gas prices are raising fresh worries for thousands of households over winter heating bills.

Xcel Energy says it expects typical residential natural gas bills in December to be up 34 percent from December 2004. So a typical residential bill would be about 170 dollars and 52 cents in December.

Typical small-business customer bills would increase 35 percent to 776-dollars and 40 cents.

Aquila, with about 55-thousand natural gas customers in Colorado, expects its residential customers to see a 38 percent increase in the cost of natural gas.

Energy Outreach Colorado director Skip Arnold says some people are just catching up on bills from last winter.