Washington, D.C. – The American Gas Association (AGA) announced today that total winter heating bills should remain among the lowest in the past decade even in the face of colder weather. Natural gas prices are likely to remain stable and may actually be lower for some utilities, but the average customer bill may rise from last year’s historic low due to colder weather. An abundant supply of domestically-available natural gas has contributed to lower wellhead prices that, along with conservation efforts on the part of consumers, mean natural gas prices should remain affordable.
“Natural gas is the right choice for consumers and for our economy,” said AGA CEO Dave McCurdy. “The domestic abundance of this foundation fuel points to its potential to remain affordable even in the face of greater demand.”
Fundamental shifts in the natural gas marketplace including technological advances, the emergence of an abundant, recoverable domestic resource, as well as an extensive delivery infrastructure have contributed to a new energy paradigm. Natural gas is a fuel now viewed as reliable and stable in the energy marketplace, of real value for energy customers and able to satisfy robust increases in its consumption affordably and reliably.
“This is not your grandfather’s natural gas industry,” said Chris McGill, AGA Vice President of Policy Analysis who previewed a report on the natural gas outlook through 2022. “The fact that we are looking at only a slight rise in consumer bills in the face of higher use points to a new era in natural gas markets.”
In an economy that has been recovering slowly, many American families will struggle to heat their homes this winter. Despite the fact that bills last year were the lowest in a decade, 2.4 percent of AGA member customers here unable to make sufficient payments and the number of those late on their bills increased slightly. Funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) remains critically important to those in need. AGA and its member companies advocate for full funding of this vital program.
For more information about natural gas price trends and home-heating assistance provided to consumers by local natural gas utilities, please visit www.aga.org.