Home heating bills to rise up to 5 percent

HOUSTON — Rising natural gas prices will boost home heating bills for Houston area residents by up to 5 percent in February, according to data from CenterPoint Energy.

The Houston-based electricity distributor, which also provides natural gas to 1.2 million Houston area homes, said the average natural gas bill received in February will go up between $2 and $2.50 because of rising commodity prices.

The average Houston natural gas bill is currently between $55 and $70, depending on usage, CenterPoint spokeswoman Alicia Dixon said.

Heating: Cold weather among factors pushing up natural gas bills

Natural gas prices surpassed $5 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Friday, reaching the mark for the first time since 2010.

Heavy usage of natural gas nationwide has pushed up prices for the commodity. That means that residents who might have used the same amount of gas in recent months will pay more in February for their bills because of the higher resource prices.

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