17 Mar 2014 More

Record Winter Drives Natural Gas Prices Up

posted by Brown Books @ 08:12 0 Comments

Natural has prices affected by harsh winter
While record-low temps all across the US, especially the Northeast, drove up heating fuel prices this winter, natural gas prices may actually come in right around expectations.  Still, spending on heating fuels were up across the board, this in a new report from the Energy Information Administration.

Low temperatures in January especially caused inventories to deplete for not just natural gas but heating oil and propane as well.  Difficulties getting heating materials to the Northeast drove prices up dramatically.  The price for natural gas had at one time doubled.

From October through March, those household which depend mainly on propane saw a 54 percent increase in costs.  Propane heats as much as 7 percent of homes in the Midwest. Propane is the heating material of choice for many rural environments.

Heating projections

Compared to last winter, heating projections for natural gas expenditures are expected to rise by 10 percent.  Heating oil is expected to increase by 7 percent while electricity overall should see a 5 percent rise.

The EIA says that its projections are up from earlier forecasts, this as the winter was even more harsh than anticipated.  Natural gas may even come in under original projections of 13 percent.  Propane had been anticipated to rise by 9 percent.

For the months October through February, average heating days were by 10 percent over the 10-year average.  The same measurements were up by 13 percent over the same time last year.

While temperatures were down on average by as much as 19 percent in the South and the Midwest, heating fuel costs were highest in the Northeast.  This is because, despite and actual rise in temperatures by 5 percent, heating materials were short in supply.  Households in the Northeast and Midwest are expected to be impacted the most.

Average household bills are expected to remain about the same as the rise in prices will not be reflected for some months to come.  In the South and the West, while temps were well below average, still weather there was not nearly as severe as in the colder regions.

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