In recent years, homeowners have enjoyed low natural gas prices that keep energy bills down and houses warm in winter. However, the upcoming trends in natural gas prices may change that.
Not knowing how much your energy bill may be can cause financial stress and anxiety as the weather gets colder. By keeping your eye on these changes, you can prepare yourself for adjustments in your energy bill and anticipate your expenses all winter long.
The effects of winter weather
One of the most significant causes of higher gas prices is changes in temperature. While early winter is likely to be warmer than previous years, February and March will be unusually cold, resulting in unexpected price spikes. We saw this trend happen in 2014 with prices rising above $6.00 per MMBtu, and the same thing may happen again in 2016.
To keep track of these changes, pay attention to forecast tools like Farmer’s Almanac or reliable HVAC blogs. These resources can help you plan for inclement weather, optimize your energy usage, and keep your bills low even during the coldest days of the year.
Natural gas inventory trends
We’ve had an oversupply of natural gas for quite some time now, but those trends are shifting. Since October of 2015, gas production has been on the decline. The forecasts predict that the dwindling supply may increase gas prices to $3.31 by 2017.
While a lack of supply is not imminent, it may gradually increase the cost of natural gas over the coming months. The U.S. Energy Information Administration issues regular updates on natural gas prices, so pay attention to these weekly updates to identify current trends in these price fluctuations.
How to keep your costs low
If you’re concerned about changes in your energy bill, there are a few things you can do to keep your system running efficiently.
- Tune-up your system. Check your filter, clean your vents, and schedule a maintenance check with a reputable HVAC company.
- Program your thermostat. A programmable thermostat can keep your furnace from running when it’s not necessary.
- Opt for energy efficiency. Highly efficient windows, appliances, and HVAC systems can keep your gas bill down even in the dead of winter.
Don’t stress over unpredictable gas prices. By following the weather, price reports, and fine-tuning your home’s energy efficiency, you can keep your bill from getting out of control during the coldest months of the year.