CHICAGO — For virtually everyone who responded to this month's Wire survey, their energy prices were at least 20% higher than the previous winter. Half reported prices were 21-40% higher, and nearly 38% said prices were 41% higher or more.
Media reports warned of the likelihood of higher natural gas and fuel oil prices this winter, but nearly 63% of respondents said they were higher than they anticipated.
Half of the respondents said they installed new energy conservation equipment or employed new operational procedures due to the higher prices. One manager moved his production operation to third shift to receive off-peak electric credit, while another purchased textiles with a higher polyester content that required less energy to dry.