Projections made by the US Department of Energy show that the surging demand and colder temperatures are set to increase natural gas bills in all regions of the US this winter, potentially forcing Americans to pay nearly 30% more over the previous year.
According to the US Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey, almost half of all American homes (47%) are using natural gas as the primary heating fuel.
According to the forecast the department’s Energy Information Agency (EIA) published on Monday, Americans can expect a significant price hike over the winter months forcing some households to pay an average of $931 for heating during the cold season, which is a 28% increase compared to 2021.
How much the households spend on winter natural gas bills will be determined by the retail price of natural gas and the amount of natural gas consumed.
Compared to other regions, the Midwest will see the greatest increase in retail natural gas prices – by 27% compared with last winter, to $13.80/Mcf – though the agency went on to note that the South, West, and Northeast will also experience climbing costs that, on average, are expected to rise 22% – from $13.02 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) last winter to $15.95/Mcf.
Yet, considering the latest developments influenced by the war in Ukraine, it seems that there are other reasons behind the expected hike in prices apart from the comparatively colder temperatures.
As a result, the US reported its lowest LNG storage levels in three years last April after the significant boost in US exports has used almost all of the country’s available gas capacity and driven prices upward.