Natural Gas Price Spike Poses Potential Problems


The price of natural gas is rising throughout New England as demand increases, which could pose problems for businesses and residential dwellings alike come this winter. Connecticut prices are running well ahead of the national average.
The Hartford Business Journal reports the commodity price of natural gas leaped more than 70 percent this summer. Typically, the commodity price of natural gas spikes only in the winter, as demand increases for home heating throughout the nation. As more power generators switch to natural gas, the price increases in the summer, too, as the demand for electricity rises, particularly when the weather is hot.
The national commodity price of natural gas — priced at a central point in Louisiana — reached $3.20 per million British thermal units, or Btu, by the end of July, a 74 percent increase from April, according to the Hartford Business Journal. The increase came from increased summer demand and decreased supply. In Connecticut, the commodity cost of natural gas coming into the state was $5.23 per million Btu in May, a 26 percent increase from the previous month. EIA reports state prices on a three-month delay. That figure includes transmission costs.
As more than half of New England’s power now comes from natural gas, the price of the commodity dictates the price of electricity every day, leaving power costs at the mercy of natural gas price spikes.
Photo © Stock Xchng