Aside from this week’s brutal cold, warmer-than-normal winter weather is a big reason natural gas prices have plunged.
Over the last four months, average prices for the major utilities have dropped by as much as 49 percent.
“U.S. households will pay the lowest heating oil and natural gas bills this winter in more than a decade,” said Adam Sieminski, administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Department of Energy.
The EIA predicts that Midwest households relying on gas will pay an average of 24 percent less on their heating bills this winter. Check out the average natural gas prices from major Illinois utilities so far this winter.
|Gas Utility||Avg. Price (Oct-Jan.)||% Decrease|
|Nicor Gas||29 cents/therm||49%|
|Peoples Gas||32 cents/therm||36%|
|North Shore Gas||37 cents/therm||32%|
You can see the prices for each month at CUB’s Natural Gas Price Checker.
Why the lower bills? The EIA said falling crude and natural gas prices, along with less heating fuel demand because of warmer weather, all play a role in lowering consumers’ household heating bills. Prices have been falling over the last couple of years due to the impact of the controversial gas extraction process called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”
With gas prices so low, 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.
Make a New Year’s resolution to become more energy-efficient and check out CUB’s energy efficiency page for more ways to save.