The temperature isn’t the only thing that’s dropping. Gas prices have fallen by up to 31 percent this month, compared with December.
Here’s a sampling of what major Illinois utilities are charging this month compared with last:
|Utility Company||Jan. 2015 (cents/therm)||Dec. 2014 (cents/therm)||Percent|
|North Shore Gas||49.66||58.92||-15.72%|
Interestingly, Peoples Gas, which along with its sister company, North Shore Gas, charged the highest rates in Illinois last year, had the biggest drop from December. The 18-cents plunge this month gives Peoples the lowest gas rate in more than a decade.
Last winter, Peoples gas didn’t win any popularity contests after announcing a $100 million delivery rate-hike request at the same time its supply rate went through the roof, eventually hitting $1.19 per therm.
North Shore Gas prices reached $1.21 per therm last winter. Now, customers also are experiencing a drop in rates, by roughly 9 cents per therm. Nicor customers are seeing a decrease of 5 cents per therm.
Why the drop? According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the statistical arm of the Department of Energy, the falling gas prices reflect a lower heating demand and higher natural gas production.
But who knows how long this will last—especially given the latest cold snap. In 2014, utility rates didn’t skyrocket until a few months into the year, after the effects of January’s polar vortex set in. Fasten your seat belts, folks—and follow CUB’s favorite cold weather tips.