America’s most popular energy source – natural gas - is making the news. PSNC Energy can keep you in the know with the latest information. We also offer educational materials so you can better understand how what’s going on with natural gas affects you. Expand your knowledge and put it into practice with energy-saving tips at Manage Your Energy Use.
Facts About Natural Gas Prices
Natural Gas Questions & Answers
Energy Education Resources
The price of natural gas, whether high or low, is impacted by market conditions occurring on a national level. That's because natural gas is a commodity. Its price goes up and down according to supply and demand across North America.
Here's a brief overview of some of the factors that influence natural gas supply and demand - and ultimately price.
The demand for natural gas typically peaks during the coldest months (the heating season) and tapers off during the warmest months, with a slight increase during the summer (non-heating season) to meet the needs of power plants that use natural gas to generate electricity. The weather during any particular season can affect this demand for natural gas, which influences prices. The colder the weather during the winter, the more pronounced winter peak demand will be. A mild winter may result in a less noticeable winter peak. An extremely hot summer can drive up cooling demand, which translates to increased use of natural gas during the non-heating season.
Supply and demand in the marketplace determine the short-term price for natural gas. However, this can work in reverse as well. For some consumers, the price of natural gas can affect its demand. This is particularly true for consumers who have the capacity to switch the fuel upon which they rely. While most residential and commercial customers rely solely on natural gas to meet many of their energy requirements, some industrial and electric generation consumers have the capacity to switch between fuels. For instance, during a period of extremely high natural gas prices, many electric generators may switch from using natural gas to using cheaper coal, thus decreasing the demand for natural gas.
The state of the economy can have a considerable effect on the demand for natural gas in the short term, particularly for industrial consumers. When the economy is expanding, output from industrial sectors is generally increasing at a similar rate. When the economy is in recession, output drops. These fluctuations, which may accompany economic upswings and downturns, affect the amount of natural gas needed by these industrial users.
There are peak seasons for high natural gas demand. This occurs mainly during winter months, which requires companies to store extra gas in the summer to accommodate peak time demand. The amount of gas stored affects the amount available as supply.
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Why is natural gas a popular fuel?
Because of its unmatched level of comfort, convenience and reliability, natural gas remains one of the most popular energy choices available. In fact, 52 percent of all heated U.S. households have natural gas heat. In addition, natural gas is a clean-burning, environmentally friendly option. PSNC Energy remains committed to providing customers with safe and reliable natural gas options that enhance their quality of life.
What can I do to conserve energy?
- Set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower.
- Keep your fireplace damper closed.
- Wash clothes in cold water and use your dryer only when you have a full load. Keep lint filters clean.
- Have your heating system tuned up by a professional heating contractor.
- Open shades and drapes on sunny days to help warm the house. Close them at night to retain the heat.
- Add attic insulation, caulk around windows and replace old weather stripping around doors.
- Make sure your water heater is set to "normal" or "medium" setting (usually 120 degrees)
- Remember to turn off a kitchen or bathroom ventilation fan to prevent heat from being drawn outside.
- Keep doors inside your home open to keep air circulating and improve efficiency of heating system.
Where can I go to get more information about energy conservation?
Discover more energy-saving ideas, including tools for estimating your monthly gas bill and calculating appliance usage.
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If you're watching the news these days, you are probably aware of what's happening with natural gas pricing. Here are some industry education resources to help keep you informed about the energy supply situation:
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