Cold weather to push up BGE natural gas prices

December 07, 2010|By Jay Hancock, The Baltimore Sun | Baltimore Sun reporter

From Jay Hancock's Blog: A cold weather forecast has pulled natural gas prices up from an eight-year low, Bloomberg reports. That will probably be reflected in BGE's residential natural gas price for January.

But while prices may have notched up, they're rising from really low levels. The recession and a worldwide natural-gas glut have depressed gas prices and profits. The default natural gas price for BGE customers this month (the floating price you get if you don't lock in with another supplier) is 63.71 cents per therm, the lowest price for December since at least 2003.

The best one-year fixed price from competitive suppliers listed on the Office of People's Counsel Web site (look on the mid-right side of the page; click on "Natural Gas Retail Supplier Prices") is from Washington Gas Energy Services, at 66 cents per therm.

Bloomberg:

"Gas advanced 3.2 percent after the National Weather Service reduced its temperature forecasts for eastern states from Dec. 11 to Dec. 15. Gas prices were trading at the lowest level since 2002 for the beginning of December.

"Cold weather is the primary driver of gas prices," said Brad Florer, a trader at Kottke Associates Inc., an energy trading firm in Louisville, Kentucky. "It looks like below- normal temperatures are going to hang on for most of the month, and that's stifling the selling and lifting gas off the bottom."

jay.hancock@baltsun.com

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