A new report by the American Gas Association shows that Nebraskans will be getting a bit of a break on their winter heating bill this year. Managing Director of Policy Analysis Bruce McDowell says supplies are in good shape and consumers should see a slight decrease in their heating bill this year.
McDowell says, “There is more than enough gas to satisfy demand this winter even if it gets very cold. But we don’t expect it to get very cold. We think it is going to be warmer than normal, at least warmer than last year. That’s going to drop the bills a little bit and supplies are prevalent. We have an abundance of natural gas ready to be brought to market that prices are lower than they’ve been in a while.”
The American Gas Association predicts a 5% to 7% decline in costs this year and McDowell says other government agencies are predicting even more, up to 9% to 10% discounts.
McDowell says the El Nino weather pattern also is playing a role in what consumers will use. He says, “They don’t always agree what El Nino is going to do but basically they say it will be warmer in the mid-section and the north, colder in the south and a little more snow in the southeast.”
McDowell also reminds consumers to do their part and winterize their home. That means adding insulation and caulking around windows. He says by setting the furnace thermostat at 68-degrees or lower, consumers can save 2% to 3% on their natural gas bills alone.