While gasoline prices hover near three-bucks a gallon, prices for natural gas are falling. Though most people are running home air conditioners right now, energy companies are already storing natural gas for winter. Mark Reinders, spokesman for MidAmerican Energy, says so far, conditions are leading to lower natural gas prices.
Reinders says: "Generally mild weather the last couple of weeks, a lack of hurricanes and strong storage numbers have actually led to decreasing natural gas prices nationwide, which is a good thing for our customers." Reinders says MidAmerican, Iowa’s largest utility, will soon have the bulk of its supply locked in for next winter.
He says, "We try to get about 60 to 75-percent of our expected natural gas needs for our customers in place before the winter season comes in and we’re right on track to meet those demands. With the price being lower, we’re putting more of that into storage right now." Reinders says there’s usually a natural gas price spike later in the year and that will depend on when the first cold blast hits.
He says, "The key is when the first severe winter weather really comes into play. If it gets cold early in the fall, or late fall, that’s when the prices spike up pretty quickly. If it continues to be mild like it has the last couple of fall seasons, that really helps to keep that price low." He says natural gas prices have been trading at prices lately that are below a month ago, and that are below a year ago.