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The fluctuations in natural gas prices can be puzzling. You might assume that high temperatures mean low natural gas prices and usage, and vice versa. However, weather has various impacts on natural gas supply and usage. What it really comes down to is changes in supply and demand. We’re here to break it down for you.
You may assume that warm weather will bring a decrease in natural gas prices, but that’s not always the case. While natural gas usage tends to go down in family homes over the summer, the opposite can happen for power plants fueled by natural gas. Hot weather increases the demand for electricity, so it can increase consumption by the electric power sector, which can then lead to less natural gas going into storage to prepare for winter.
Your may wonder why your natural gas bill is higher than you anticipated in the summer, but there are fees charged each month regardless of usage to consider. Additionally, if you use natural gas appliances, your usage may not decrease as much as you anticipate causing bills to stay steady.
Winter comes for all of us, even here in Georgia. Over 50% of homes in the U.S. are heated by natural gas, so demand increases as weather cools down across the country. While suppliers try to prepare each winter by purchasing and storing plenty of natural gas ahead of time, unexpected temperatures can throw a wrench in their plans. As mentioned above, higher than anticipated summer temperatures can cause less gas to be in storage come winter. In the same vein, when winter gets colder than forecasted, natural gas stores can deplete faster than suppliers planned for. This causes prices to go up as suppliers try to keep up with demand.
If you live in one of the 50% of American homes heated by natural gas, you can expect your gas bills to increase as temperatures go down and your usage goes up. Natural gas bills come around a month after your usage is calculated, so it’s easy to forget about the cold weather that caused your current natural gas bill to be high. Fortunately, there are simple home improvements you can make to save energy, thus saving you money on your winter bills.
A factor many don’t think of when considering effects on natural gas supply is severe weather, yet it can heavily impact natural gas rates across the country. Severe storms can play a major role in natural gas supply, especially when they hit the Gulf of Mexico. At best, these storms cause workers on natural gas rigs to get evacuated, delaying production. At worst, severe storms can damage rigs and platforms, causing suppliers major losses in natural gas supply.
So, next time you see rising gas prices or high natural gas bills, remember there are many factors at play. The best way to prepare is to lock in a natural gas rate and make energy efficient improvements to your home. This can help you save no matter what weather comes our way.
If you’d like even more natural gas education and energy saving tips, along with quality customer service, sign up with SCANA Energy today. It only takes a few minutes to sign up. Call 1.877.467.2262 to schedule a turn on date or start service with SCANA today.
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