Natural Gas Prices Expected to Rise

The U.S. Energy Department says natural gas prices could surge as high as 71 percent.

Keeping warm this winter might be expensive, which is never good news, but it's even worse for City of Tallahassee utility customers who say they've already been paying too much during the summer.

The expected jump in natural gas prices could translate into utility bills rising close to 20 percent in the south.

The Energy Department says these price hikes will ultimately depend on how fast oilrigs and Gulf Coast refineries hit by Katrina can be repaired.

In the meantime, customers who rely on natural gas, like most Tallahassee residents, are hoping those repairs will be very soon. Some good news is that the Energy Department predicts some relief for drivers saying the average price of gasoline should fall to $2.58 a gallon by year's end.