From Scott Carlberg

Natural gas prices are rising and could be the most expensive in 13 years this winter. (Source)  That can translate to higher costs for homeowners for heat and cooking. Natural gas prices have doubled in 2021 already. Look for more increases, too.

Here’s why: “Natural gas prices have been caught in their own perfect storm, of lower supplies and rising demand. Prices raced higher, first as unprecedented heat stoked air conditioning demand across the U.S., particularly in the Northwest. As a result, less gas was put into storage for winter months, during the key summer injection period.” (Source)

The lack of building gas infrastructure, pressure on fracking, and the push toward intermittent sources as a more comprehensive energy solution exacerbate the issue.

It is a U.S. and worldwide issue. It also complicates more than energy costs. “Natural gas prices have soared by around 280% in Europe this year and by more than 100% in the United States, pushing up winter fuel bills, and exacerbating a near-term spike in inflation in another blow to a world economy as it recovers from the coronavirus crisis.” (Source)

The higher prices impact homes and electric bills. Homes use gas; power companies use gas in some facilities to make electricity (check the image, right). That will cost more.

How do prices and temperatures interact? Here is how the Energy Information Agency sees it: “If this winter is 10% colder than forecast, households relying on natural gas will spend 50% more than last winter. They’ll spend 22% more if the winter is 10% warmer than forecast.”

Before it gets cold is the time to prepare to weatherize homes a bit more, turning up the furnace, and putting aside the cash for higher fuel costs.