HANNIBAL — The cost of energy is on the rise and it is a trend that is expected to continue at least through the winter months, if not longer, according to information that was received recently by the Hannibal Board of Public Works.

During a recent meeting of the HBPW Board, Darrin Gordon, general manager of the HBPW, reported receiving information indicating an out-of-the-ordinary increase in the day-ahead pricing for its electric requirements should be expected this winter.

“One of the most concerning drivers is the national trend of increasing natural gas prices,” wrote Gordon in a memo to the HBPW Board in October. “Much of the HBPW’s generation above our base load is fueled by natural gas. The correlation between natural gas costs and the HBPW’s electric costs are very high.

“We are exploring all avenues to help mitigate this forecast, but are still tied tightly to the natural gas and coal fuel markets.”

In its winter energy forecast the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts that “average U.S. household expenditures for all major home heating fuels will increase significantly this winter primarily because of higher expected fuel costs as well as more consumption of energy due to a colder winter.”

Compared with last winter the U.S. Energy Information Administration is forecasting that propane expenditures will rise by 54 percent, heating oil by 43 percent, natural gas by 30 percent and electricity by 6 percent.

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