Colder Winter Means U.S. Natural Gas Customers May See 5% Bill Increase

News Release October 17, 2017

Clean Natural Gas Will Continue to be the Most Affordable Option for Home Heating

Washington, D.C.The American Gas Association (AGA) said today that natural gas customers nationwide may experience a five percent increase, on average, on their heating bills this winter compared to last year. Following two unseasonably warm winters for much of the country, residential customers are likely to use an average of three percent more natural gas this winter due to colder temperatures, which may result in a moderate increase in overall bills.

Natural gas will continue to be the most affordable option for home heating in the United States.

“Americans may use slightly more natural gas this winter to heat their homes, but due to the excellent energy value provided by natural gas, people are not likely to see a very different bill than what they have seen over the past seven years,” said Chris McGill, vice-president of Energy Analysis and Standards at AGA. “We are entering the third winter heating season following the extreme cold of 2013-2014 which included the polar vortex. We expect to see temperatures this winter that are more near normal – not as cold as three winters ago, but not as warm as last year. This accounts for an expectation of three percent more consumption and an estimated five percent increase in overall bills.”

AGA held their annual Winter Outlook event today where they presented analysis of supply, demand, temperature, weather events and pipeline capacity, and how these factors may impact customer bills. The results are based on a survey of 42 local gas utilities throughout the nation.

“The price of natural gas this winter for residential customers has largely been influenced by stable and now growing production, a flexible underground storage position and the presence of strong pipeline exports to Mexico, as well as growth in LNG exports. Utilities work all year to prepare for the possibility of extreme temperatures and employ a portfolio approach to help ensure they can meet the needs of their customers at affordable prices on the coldest days of the year,” McGill said.

  • 177 million Americans enjoy the benefits of natural gas in their homes and that number continues to grow
  • 39 states are now looking at ways to expand natural gas infrastructure so that more citizens and businesses can access this domestic fuel source
  • Households that use natural gas for heating, cooking and clothes drying save an average of $874 per year compared to homes using electricity for those applications

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.