"Natural gas prices have gotten back down in the
The fixed wholesale price for NOPFA is
"All the price movement we saw a few weeks ago was due to a need to move more gas where it was needed," Reagan said. "They have succeeded in doing that, so the price is coming down. It hasn't dropped down to its previous levels because now they are trying to refill storage."
Reagan believes the warm weather of mid-February will "relieve the pain" of customers' upcoming bills.
"I do believe everything will level out during the month," he said. "There won't be any panic. The [NOPFA] board and I are going to do everything we can to keep our rates the lowest in the state, like we have in the past."
Propane prices also shocked many customers during the winter, but those have dropped as well.
"We have ample supply," said
Laney said Liberty saw a high of
"I suspect it will continue to fall," he said. "These warm weeks will help, and people have really been conserving. They have been closing off unused rooms and using alternative heating, such as wood. By this summer, it might be down to
The propane price spike may have further consequences for
"Some people have decided to switch to electricity," Laney said. "Even with our price increases, electricity is still more expensive than propane, especially when you factor in conversion costs. Others plan to burn more wood or use other fuels. We expect to lose market share next winter, maybe as much as 25 percent."
Reagan said it can be difficult to explain high prices or shortages to customers who live in
"We have all this natural gas, and the price goes up," he said. "But the price is affected by events nationwide because the supply is sent around the country. When the Northeast gets hammered by a storm, that affects a lot of people."
Laney said the recent warm weather in middle of the continent belies conditions in the densely populated northeast.
"They're still dealing with it," he said. "They had winter weather today. We didn't see
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