NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Cheap natural gas prices and warm weather have kept utility bills relatively low this winter.
Experts said we’ve been reaping the benefits on the international market, but can the good fortune continue?READ MORE: New York Weather: CBS2’s 11/28 Sunday Morning Forecast
As CBS2’s Lou Young reported, experts said enjoy it while it lasts.
Natural gas is priced at an all-time low for the century. When the ‘drill baby drill’ impulse meets the warmer winter, we win.
Matthew Carey watches the trends from the Iona College Financial Studies Center.
“There’s much more supply. The shale drilling is yielding much more product and you’re not seeing the commensurate pick-up in demand,” Carey said.
Con Ed’s own figures confirmed the short term trend. The average New York gas bill is $170, last year’s was $215 a month.
This year it’s been $20 cheaper for the same amount of gas, and we’re using less because it isn’t cold out.READ MORE: Alec Burks, Evan Fournier Spark Knicks Past Hawks
Consumers who don’t level their payments in a budget, may not notice right away, but those who don’t ave come upon a winter windfall.
“We’re not spending as much and economically it’s really helping all of us,” Gerald Stern said.
Natural gas prices are so low that some have been looking over contracts with alternative suppliers. energy service companies, or ‘escos’ as they are known.
Nobody seems to be offering long term deals at historic low rates. Lock-in prices are significantly higher than what we’re paying now.
“There doesn’t seem to be a way to lock them in unless you’re willing to go to a futures market and do it yourself,” Carey said.
In other words become a trader, because there doesn’t seem to be a way to buy cheap gas and use it later. So, while the winter has been easy on the wallet, we probably can’t make it last.MORE NEWS: Suns Extend Win Streak To 16 With Victory Over Nets
Con Ed is also asking for a hike in rates it charges to deliver energy. If approved that could end up nullifying some of the energy cost savings. Con Ed insists the best way to save is to use less.