Natural gas surplus a boon for frugal homeowners come winter

BY Allconnect | Fri Aug 29, 2014
Natural gas surplus a boon for frugal homeowners come winter

Last year's sweltering summer and low national supplies supported bullish predictions for the natural gas. Gas prices were expected to stay high all summer, but instead saw a loss as natural and economic factors betrayed market expectations. A loss for investors translates into a gain for consumers and homeowners can expect to save big on utilities with winter around the corner.

Mother Nature changes the game
An surge of domestic natural gas production was one of the two major factors influencing the drop in gas prices. North Dakota, for example, set records in June by producing 1.25 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas, says volume sets an all-time production record for the state. Stockpiles are 70 percent higher than average for the season, functionally cancelling out the gas shortage that faced the nation entering 2014. The laws of supply and demand subsequently brought down gas prices by 20 percent since June, according to The Wall Street Journal.

A mild summer, with relatively cool temperatures across the nation, have helped to maintain a high supply of natural gas. Homeowners and businesses have had minimal need to blast their air conditioners thanks to the breezy weather. As a result, the consumption of natural gas to generate electricity has slowed. reports that several investors have scooped up low-cost natural gas futures and successfully stabilized the market. Regardless, a bountiful supply of natural gas will ensure that gas prices won't soar over winter as a result of fuel shortages.

Homeowners can take advantage
An information brief provided by CenterPoint Energy outlines how homeowners can reduce their expenses with the help of gas-powered utilities. The report stresses that gas prices are consistently half or a third of the cost of electricity. Ultimately, the effective cost of any utility is determined by supply. With local natural gas production setting records, homeowners can feel comfortable investing in natural gas appliances.

Consumers can save time and money by converting or installing appliances during the off season. A household is more likely to get a good deal on a gas furnace installed in August than attempting to schedule a repair visit in mid-December. Homeowners should consider the benefits of upgrading their media services before winter as well. Parents with school-aged children, for example, can help out their child's research efforts by installing high speed Internet. Many cable services and Internet providers offer generous seasonal bundle deals.

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