This isn’t a misprint: December’s natural gas prices are at their lowest point in nearly 15 years!
Major Illinois utilities are charging consumers 26-48 percent less to heat their homes this December compared to last.
Peoples Gas shows the biggest price drop of all, charging customers about 28 cents per therm less this month. Not far behind, North Shore Gas is charging customers about 23 cents per therm less. Nicor Gas is knocking 22 cents per therm off its rate.
Rounding out the group is Ameren. Its customers will be charged roughly 15 cents per therm less in 2015 than 2014.
The lower prices mean customers using 200 therms of gas to heat their homes this December would pay about $30 to $55 less, compared with last December.
The last time customers saw prices this low was in 2001. Back then, warmer weather decreased the need for natural gas, which forced prices to fall, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA)—the statistical arm of the Department of Energy.
The same supply/demand rational still holds true today. Based on forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the temperature in the Midwest is expected to be 11 percent warmer this winter. A milder winter will keep heating demand down along with the prices, just like it did in 2001.
You can add to your savings by taking advantage of great energy efficiency programs, such as the Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas Jumpstart Program. Also, follow these simple tips to help you live comfortably and save in the winter.