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Natural Gas Prices Expected To Increase

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As winter nears and the days get colder, Kentucky will see higher natural gas prices.  

On average, customers who use about ten thousand cubic feet of natural gas, can expect to pay about 19 percent more than last November. Still, State Public Service Commission Spokesman Andrew Melnykovych says it’s far less than a few years ago.

“Natural gas prices are gonna continue to go up and down from year to year, but it’s going to be, at least for the foreseeable future within a fairly narrow range, you know, dollar or two whereas in the past we’ve had these massive spikes where it’s gone up a hundred percent or more in some instances in a very short period of time and crashed back down only to rise again,” said Melnykovych.

Melnykovych says the natural gas hike could be 16 dollars a month over a four to five month period.  He adds it would still be almost 50 dollars less than the rate in November of 2008.  Better insulation in homes can help save money but Melnykovych says cost is still weather dependent.

“And you could really weatherize your home and if the average temperature from one winter to the next is ten or 15 degrees different, the effect of that weatherization that you’ve done is gonna be obscured by the effect of the temperature change itself,” added Melnykovych.

The PSC official doesn’t anticipate the increase in natural gas prices to change the coal-natural gas mix.

“This uptick in terms of tipping the balance away from gas to coal is probably going to have a marginal affect at best I would think,” explained Melnykovych.

Melnykovych says this rise in natural gas prices doesn’t signal a return to major fluctuations seen just a few years ago.  He adds weather and not price is the dominant factor in determining the amount of energy used by consumers.

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