US gas costs to rise this winter for residential, commercial customers: AGA – Natural Gas | Platts News Article & Story

S gas costs to rise this winter for residential, commercial customers: AGA

Washington (Platts)–22Sep2014/353 pm EDT/1953 GMT

US residential and commercial natural gas customers can anticipate more normal temperatures this winter, but the price they pay for gas will be “slightly higher” than last winter because of the growing competition from industrial and electric generation users, the American Gas Association said Monday.

This year, local distribution companies have been competing with those segments for gas to refill their storage facilities, which were depleted by last winter’s record low temperatures, said Chris McGill, AGA vice president of policy analysis.

Last winter was characterized by a string of polar vortexes that resulted in prolonged periods of deep cold in key consuming regions. The US set a single-day record for gas use on January 7, 2014, or 139 Bcf — almost double the overall daily average, AGA noted.

Looking forward, McGill said the commodity price of gas has been about 9% higher than the price paid last year. The fixed charge delivery cost of the gas is about 1.5% higher.

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