Natural gas prices have been rising in recent months, and have risen over the past week. Here are some things you need to know as we move into the coldest part of the calendar.
Prices are rising
Natural gas prices have been rising steadily in recent months. On Wednesday, the price of natural gas on the future New York merchandise trade closed sharply in 12 years. This is bad news for us who have been on the Dominion discount or SCO. Based on Tuesday’s price, the October SCO will cost $ 5.99 per thousand cubic feet (mcf). It first peaked at $ 4.19 / mcf on August 4 and then at $ 4.52 / mcf again in September. Prices have been hovering for years between $ 3 and $ 2.
The last time $ 4 was broken, it was 4.79 / mcf in December 2018, but that was temporary. Prices in the $ 4 and above range should go back to 2014.
Vicki Frisik, director of regulation and pricing at Dominion Energy Ohio, said the increase was due to a number of factors.
Domestic gas reserves are below the five-year average, which is a standard measure and a commodity that weakens markets, she said. Our cold winters and hot summers (with many electric plants using natural gas) contributed to that low stockpile.
Remember when the Shale gas explosion here in Ohio was a big thing for us? Because of that shale gas, there was plenty of natural gas in the system, and for many years we enjoyed low prices. Now there is an increase in global demand and improved natural gas exports and this will increase prices.
Chuck Kipper, executive director of NOPEC, Ohio’s largest non-profit energy collector, said Chuck Kipper, the company’s general manager for gas supply to 206 communities.
“I think this will be the new rule as long as natural gas is the king of the hill,” he said.
Estimates suggest that global prices could fall after the winter, and the Federal Government’s Energy Information Administration is projected to increase U.S. production by 2022, pushing down prices.
But it will not help us this winter.
Historically, costs are still generally low
While these prices are high, it is not a shock. When I started analyzing natural gas prices in 2000 21 years ago, the “best” price was 4.91 / mcf. Then there were years of good prices of $ 6 to $ 7 and even $ 10 to $ 12. Some people pay $ 16 / mcf rates.
We feel like an increase for customers, but we enjoyed that low price, so I think it’s stable now.
“If you really fix this for $ 5 or $ 6, we will pay exactly what our parents paid for their income. 60s.
“We pay 40% or 50% more and in the worst case, it is 100% higher than the cheapest gas prices in our history,” he said. “We must be angry because we know that the world will not end there.
Evaluate your current choice for natural gas suppliers, is it time for change?
This is not a one-size-fits-all decision. There are many communities that have their own total, or wholesale value. Some may still be in existing contracts – and may be a good value for the winter. If you want to see if your community aggregates or is unsure if the rules allow you to join outside of the registration period, check with your community.
Many of you have been following the “Choice” for years, or the SCO for years. SCO is based on a government-approved formula near wholesale prices. We did very well at SCO. During this time, I often recommend that people who take into account the value of their community can work better at SCO or choose their sum. He said that communities that do not want to do research and make their own choices will not always be able to guarantee “low prices” to provide some stability.
I am no longer on SCO. If you have a community sum, check that price and terms and think about that. Most sums do not have a cancellation fee or a minimum of $ 25, which gives you some time off if you have to go down and you want to go to SCC to some extent.
The city of Akron is sending letters for next week’s closing. The current $ 3.09 / mcf fixed term is valid until the end of the November payment cycle. The price will then fluctuate between December 2021 and April 2022. According to the city, the variable will closely reflect SCO. Then, from May 2022 to November 2024, the bill will be adjusted to 4.06 / mcf.
You must opt-out by November 3, otherwise they will automatically be included in the package.
Since the price of SCO is rising with the market, I am not surprised by the volatility in the winter. So if I live in Akron, I would consider shopping.
Impact on NOPEC Total Clients
NOPEC is another major convener with more than 430,000 gas customers in Summit County (including Kuyahoga allste and many northern communities) as well as some communities in Medina and Portge. (NOPEC includes electricity in some communities).
The NOPEC standard program rate includes variable rates, including 2 cents below the SCO and the 12 and 24 month fixed rate options, unless customers choose another program.
Sometimes the price of a program that can change monthly – especially in the current market – is not a real variable. According to Dave Jankovsky, NOPEC’s director of marketing, the total will be bought wholesale to reduce the edges and valleys.
“The cost of our program is condemned by the design market,” Keipper said. The model is more “climb up, then spin up,” following up and down.
The program cost $ 4.30, but will reach $ 4.75 this month. Most people are paying for the program, said Jankovsky.
“The value of our program could be at least for next year, where people want to be,” says Kepper.
NOPEC’s long-term fixed-term contracts will also increase. The 12-month fixed rate goes from $ 4.20 / mcf to $ 5.50 / mcf, and the 24-month rate goes from 4.10 / mcf to 5.10 / mcf for any NOPEC customers who want to switch from October. Previously locked customers will keep their prices.
I am comfortable with the NOPEC program price for what is happening in the market, and the professionals involved in the package are also protecting consumers.
Gas access to NOPEC is a bit tricky based on the old law passed by communities. If you are a new customer in the area in late November for service or if you are a new customer in the area or are eligible as a new customer, you must join their two-year admission period. Outside of SCO (and don’t put yourself in the Dominican Market already list, I’ll get in there). If you are unsure, call NOPEC at 855-667-3201.
Others may still want to get a fixed rate from the power broker. You can do this by comparing prices on the Ohioen Apples to Apples Chart at www.energychoice.ohio.gov or by calling 800-686-7826 and requesting a charter for Dominion State or the State of Colombia. If you are in Colombia. (Similar to my advice in the state of Colombia, although you usually have to pay higher costs due to higher infrastructure costs in Colombia.)
I chose a new fixed rate, and it explains a little bit down.
Consumer beware; Be aware of your concerns
As with any consumer transaction, we consumers must always be careful. There are lawyers who have paid a lot of money to write a good publication under the terms and conditions to protect the company, not you. But here are some things I learned.
Contract prices are rapidly changing for public services, especially in the face of rising prices. But since last weekend, there have been some low (and some really high) prices on the PUCO Apple to the Apple Table. Some of these prices may not show the current price after you click on the company price.
However, the company is responsible for changing the price, and must still comply with any price posted on the PUCO website that day, said PUCO spokesman Matt Schilling. If you find yourself in a situation where you see the price listed and the company does not offer it, tell the company about the terms and conditions you have agreed with PUCO to comply with, or contact PUCO to help the shilling company keep the price.
NOPEC Jankovsky warned some marketers last summer that they would have to put some words in their good print, which would allow them to cover costs in the event of a Texas electric crisis, which would have reduced all energy costs. One marketer, Volunteer Energy Services, tried to transfer certain costs to cities and individual contracts. After PUCO intervened, they retreated.
Consumers can always call PUCO if Shilling can help with any payment issues.
Keiper warns of “shiny” or future rates or gift card offers that could be converted to higher rates after your initial contract expires.
If you are choosing a contract with a vendor on your own, it is important to know about the terms and any cancellation fees and to stay on the terms of the contract and write a reminder about 30 to 60 days in advance. Calendar. This way you can re-evaluate your options because most of these are automatically renewed and you do not want them to be automatically renewed to something you do not want.
Here is what I decided after I reviewed the options
Natural gas is a marketable commodity, so it is unpredictable. All we can do is take our information and our choices and make the best decision for us. That may not be the same for everyone.
I live in the NOPEC community and this time I will join the NOPEC program price, but when I don’t want questions, there is a process that will take me because of the “permanent choice” of any transaction through Dominion. It can take up to four months to qualify again. That doesn’t help me for the winter, so I opted for a fixed rate instead.
I got a fixed price of 2.49 / mcf for 2.4 months (2.4 months) with a $ 50 cancellation fee on the Apple Table to Apple Table. Given the changes in pricing, I’m not sure how long this rate will last, but I can still get it on Friday. Web only for new customers.
I read all the terms and conditions of the seven pages, and while there is one phrase that may be “all-inclusive” that Jankovsky mentioned, I think the phrase, which has the potential to charge me more than any other Texas issue, appears in many terms and I should take that opportunity. If so, at least I will save some money.
Going forward, I will continue to update my online utility guide at SCO price as an indicator, including the available budget at www.tinyurl.com/UtilityGuide, and many more details about natural gas. So is the price of electricity.
Beacon Journal staffer Betty Lynn-Fisher can be reached at 330-996-3724 or email@example.com. Follow her @blinfisherABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/BettyLinFisherABJ. Go to www.tinyurl.com/bettylinfisher to see the most recent stories and columns.