Natural gas prices took a deep dive from six months ago. Last week, the price was slightly under $2 per unit. Increased ‘fracking’ has brought an abundance of new natural gas to the market in addition to bringing mining jobs to Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Dakota. During this time last year and over the hot summer, the price was $4 to $4.50. Assuming the gas prices will not rise, because there is no imminent plan for a slowdown in fracking, the energy cost at home and in commercial buildings could be sliced in half even with the air conditioners running, provided your energy company utilizes natural gas.
For REALTORS® who get asked about energy costs of a dwelling from renters and from homebuyers, they should be mindful that last year’s energy bill may not be a good reflection of the likely cost this year.
This positive impact of plunging natural gas prices is being overshadowed, however, by rising gasoline prices at the pump. The natural gas bill arrives once per month. However, gasoline fill-up occurs on a weekly basis for many people. That frequent reminder at the gas stations will be the source of consumers’ views about the broader economy. Some drivers may decide to give up air-conditioning while driving to lower the gasoline consumption, but the uncomfortable heat will surely to lead to steaming anger.