Today’s prices are inflated. Next week or next month may likely be a better time to buy.
The Bottom Line
Volatility has returned to the market. Natural gas prices have fluctuated by nearly 10% each month since May. Recently, we’ve seen a change that would amount to an increase of ~$.03/therm on your 12-month natural gas fixed rate. Imagine how that could impact your whole portfolio! Historically, the shoulder months of October and November are the best times to buy energy. We recommend waiting until pricing softens if you are able. For those of you who need to lock in your budget now, give us a call and we’ll help you decide the best next steps to avoid risk.
What to know about 2018
What’s the cause of this volatile market? Low amounts of natural gas in supply. The US maintains storage of gas that ensures we have enough gas for winter heating. But compared to this time last year, there is 20% less gas available. Although production has increased and will continue to pick up, we’re likely to continue to see a volatile natural gas market due to low gas storage. While we don’t recommend having accounts return to utility rates and receive default pricing, it may be beneficial to wait until October to lock in your winter and 2019 rate. Unsure how to proceed? Our energy markets experts are here to help and provide clear recommendations.
Temperature Probability Maps
This fall and winter are forecasted to have warmer than usual temperatures. The orange/red in the maps below indicate heat increases from normal. A mild fall that doesn’t require much heating in the North East would improve gas storage conditions and bring down prices. An average cold East Coast and Plains winter would reduce stored gas levels further and raise prices through all of 2019.