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Last week, we detailed the financial impact February's extreme weather event had on our water bills. In addition, we detailed our water Utility Bill Relief program to assist with mitigating these additional costs to our customers. It is our ownership of the water utility system that gave us the flexibility to develop that program and accommodate our citizens.

Unfortunately, our gas service is a lot more complex. This is because the City acquires Natural Gas through a third-party supplier, Nextera. Natural Gas is acquired at market rates and is passed along to our customers at cost. Unfortunately, the extreme weather event and our customers' subsequent increased usage of gas for their home generators, heaters, and fireplaces led to a market surge in gas prices to Corpus Christi residents and businesses. From February 12, 2021 to February 19, 2021, the City's cost of gas jumped from an average monthly price of $4.09 per one thousand cubic feet (met) the week prior to over $180 per mcf for several days. To put this into perspective, this price increase has led our resident's, businesses', and large volume users' cost for natural gas to surge from slightly over one million in January to nearly tens of millions in February. We are working closely with our supplier to achieve an affordable plan for customers to pay back the costs for the utility commodity over time.

It is important for our residents and businesses to understand that this gas debt will have a financial impact on gas bills. In addition, this increase in our bills is going to be felt for a long time. We understand this hardship and are conducting data analysis that will produce a course of action that will help ease the burden of increased gas bills and ensure that the program is equitable for our customers. While the City staff works on this, we will use a PGA of $9.05 per mcf versus the market $180 per mcf to bill our gas customers for their February's gas usage. The $9.05 PGA reflects February's usage without the surge prices that were realized during the timeframe of the extreme weather event. We expect to have a final plan in 30 days and will keep our customers informed.