Fueling the Future: The Record-Breaking Affordability of American Natural Gas 

Americans are paying less for natural gas than ever before thanks to innovative technologies and American energy dominance. Utilities’ implementation of efficiency technologies, the U.S. natural gas industry’s innovation, and a warm winter have led to the lowest-cost natural gas in world history for the United States. This has occurred even as the United States has become the world’s largest liquified natural gas (LNG) exporter and during a year when natural gas utilities added 763,000 new customers. 

Important policy choices, technological developments, and external factors have made these record-low prices possible by allowing supply to exceed demand. Natural gas utilities don’t sell natural gas. Rather, they charge for the use of the infrastructure they build to deliver it. This means that they have every incentive to help customers be as energy efficient as possible. 

Every day, American natural gas utilities invest $4.3 million in energy efficiency programs to help customers reduce consumption through home weatherization and the purchase of more efficient appliances. The objective of these programs is to ensure that customers can heat their homes, have hot water, cook and do laundry at the lowest cost possible and with the fewest emissions. These programs have paid off. Today, households that use natural gas save $1,132 every year compared to their all-electric equivalents and have emissions that are on average 18% lower than all-electric homes. 

Efficiency is advancing all the way from wellhead to burner tip. Natural gas utilities have cut emissions from the delivery system by 70% since 1990 thanks to their continuous efforts to leakproof systems and their annual investment of $33 billion in enhancing the safety of distribution and transmission systems. Thanks to these efforts, as little as 0.1% of the natural gas delivered to customers is emitted from local distribution systems. Less waste in the system and higher efficiency have helped to lower demand while doing more with the same energy. With the average natural gas home seeing its emissions continue to drop by 1.3% each year, this increasing energy efficiency is only poised to accelerate. 

Meeting demand more efficiently is only half the supply and demand equation. The other half rests on expanded low-cost production. The Shale Revolution has made America an energy superpower. Technological advances have lowered the breakeven price of natural gas and oil extraction, enabling American producers to maintain profitable production even as energy prices fall.  

Doing more with less natural gas, combined with having more natural gas to work with, translates to lower prices for natural gas utilities and their customers. This means that households and businesses save more money each year from using natural gas, helping their personal finances and stimulating the economy while making industrial production more affordable. 

We’re in a fantastic spot as a country and an industry. Nothing has a greater impact on quality of life and economic growth than affordable energy. Thanks to American innovation by producers and utilities alike, our energy is more affordable than ever.