It's no secret that natural gas prices have been skyrocketing recently. The volatile nature of the market has some concerned about planning for the future, as the prices change so rapidly that budgeting can be difficult. There are many factors impacting the price, including but not limited to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and an environmental shift away from coal and towards natural gas.

To create some certainty for the future, Strathmore Town Council recently approved a motion to let Chief Administrative Officer to enter contract talks to hedge gas prices with a chosen provider.

Hedging gas prices can seem complex to most people, as there are many factors at play. However, it essentially boils down to entering a contract where natural gas prices will remain consistent over a set period of time. 

This isn't a new concept for Strathmore; the town has been in contracts since 2013 which were written to 50 per cent consumption. This means that the Town of Strathmore paid 50 per cent of the gas consumption at an agreed-upon hedged rate, while the remainder was paid at the market rate, which could shift at any moment. 

This contract worked over the last several years because the natural gas market remained steady. However, now that the market is seeing unpredictable and rapid shifts, the Town of Strathmore will pursue new contracts.

It is currently unknown what a new contract could look like, but Brenda Hewko says she will listen to proposals from various natural gas providers and choose what she believes is best for the town. It's important to move fast, as Hewko warns that inaction could be very costly.

"Roughly natural gas is about 275 000 a year under our current hedged contract, so assuming we do nothing we could see that type of expense double or triple next year depending on what the spot markets end up doing," she said.

The current contract from 2013 is set to expire at the end of this calendar year.

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