The recent severe weather in the Southeastern United States may have you wondering how much hurricanes impact natural gas supplies as far away as Pennsylvania—and beyond. Can severe weather lead to increases in natural gas prices? And, if so, how do you keep your bills as low as possible? Well, keep reading! We plan to address those questions and concerns in this blog post.
How Weather Impacts Natural Gas Prices
The amount you pay for natural gas is largely determined by supply and demand. It’s simple economics—if supply goes up or demand goes down, prices generally go down. On the other hand, if supply goes down or demand goes up, prices go up. Because there are limited alternatives to natural gas for heating and electricity production, even a small change in supply or demand can affect the going rate in a very short period.
It’s almost miraculous that Hurricane Harvey in Texas hasn’t had a larger impact on natural gas prices. According to Forbes, gas prices only increased 13 cents, or 4.4%, from the day before Harvey hit to the night it made landfall on August 25th. Of course, the long-term effects on prices will depend on how the recovery process plays out.
One reason why a larger surge in gas prices hasn’t occurred following Harvey is because, since 2005, the Gulf of Mexico’s share of US natural gas production has decreased from more than 25% to less than 5%. Harvey reportedly shut down a quarter of the region’s output, or 1.25% of the US’ total production. By comparison, the U.S. Energy Information Administration states that hurricanes along the Gulf Coast in 2005, including Hurricane Katrina, shut down 4% of the total US natural gas production until June 2006.
Benefits of Natural Gas
If you’ve been thinking about converting to natural gas, don’t let this damaging hurricane season deter you. All fossil fuels—including natural gas, oil, and propane—fluctuate in price for a wide variety of reasons, only one of which is severe weather. The benefits of natural gas are wide-ranging and include:
- Domestic production: Much of the United States’ natural gas is produced right here at home, which helps to keep prices stable. With production taking place all over the country, a natural disaster in one area doesn’t have a catastrophic effect.
- Reliability: If you heat your home with oil or propane, you must contend with on-site fuel storage and higher prices during peak season. Natural gas is delivered straight to your home through the utility’s pipes, keeping prices much more stable throughout the year.
- Efficiency: Natural gas is usually much more affordable than electrically powered appliances, mainly due to the inherent inefficiency of delivering electricity along power lines.
- Environmental responsibility: Compared to oil and propane, natural gas emits the least amount of greenhouse gases.
Natural Gas Supplier in PA
The deregulated natural gas market in Pennsylvania gives you the power to choose a provider that meets your needs at the lowest prices. Whether you’re looking to convert to natural gas or you simply want to lower the price you pay for fuel, consider UGI EnergyLink as your natural gas supplier in Pennsylvania! We’ve been helping homes and businesses throughout the Northeast save money on natural gas for more than 130 years. In addition to an incredibly easy transition, we’ll also give you the opportunity to lock in a lower rate than you’re paying now. That means you’ll start saving right away with no interruption to your services.
Contact us today or call us at 800-797-0712 to start saving with our natural gas supplies in PA!