Natural Gas is the Low-Carbon Affordable Fuel This Winter

News Release October 27, 2020

Washington, D.C. – Today, during its annual Winter Outlook, the American Gas Association (AGA) announced that customers who use natural gas to heat their homes could expect to see bills up to 71 percent lower than alternatives this winter. Customers with efficient appliances are also expected to have a carbon footprint that is 19 percent lower than a customer operating an Energy Star-rated electric air-source heat pump.

“With the COVID pandemic presenting so many challenges to homes and businesses, winter is going to be different this year, but Americans know that with natural gas, they have a reliable, clean, and low-cost fuel for heating their homes, drying their clothes and cooking their meals,” said Karen Harbert, AGA President and CEO. “Affordability and sustainability are at the forefront of people's minds right now and natural gas delivers both.”

 Throughout the year, the American Gas Association tracks weather forecasts, examines expected energy demand and available supply, surveys its natural gas utility members to provide an industry outlook for the winter heating season.

 The planning and preparation of the nation's natural gas utility companies help to ensure that 180 million Americans receive safe, clean, affordable, and reliable energy, especially on the coldest day of the year.

 The 2020 AGA Winter Outlook shows:

  • Since 2018, the natural gas industry has consistently produced record levels of natural gas. Average gas production since 2018 has been more than 30 percent higher than average production between 2009 and 2016.
  • For all of 2020, natural gas storage inventories have been above the five-year average. 
  • Even with the unprecedented circumstances related to the pandemic, natural gas demand in 2020 has been comparable to 2019 levels. During the 2019 heating season, demand varied more than during the 2020 heating season. However, 2020 saw slightly higher demand during the spring than 2019. 
  • Natural gas prices remain historically low, trading below 2019’s already historically low prices for most of 2020.
  • Average January heating bills for natural gas customers are expected to be less than half the average bills of electric-only customers.

 Nearly one-third of U.S. households report a challenge in paying energy bills or sustaining adequate heating. Reliable and affordable energy is critical to the well-being of all households, particularly during the coldest months. The natural gas utility industry works with policymakers and regulators to provide or participate in energy assistance programs to help American families. These programs and activities involve the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), budget billing, weatherization assistance, and other measures. Some utilities forgo terminations for non-payment during the winter, so customers can maintain service during the most critical time of the year.

 This past July, seven energy industry trade associations, including AGA, sent a letter to U.S. House and Senate leadership, urging Congress to fully fund the LIHEAP at a level of $5.1 billion.

 To learn more about the report, please click here.

The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 76 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 95 percent — more than 72 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets more than thirty percent of the United States' energy needs.