How the recession will lower your heating bill this winter

energyIf it's not an equation in an economics textbook, it ought to be: Low demand + high supply = low prices.

That's what the government says will happen with heating fuel supplies in the United States this winter, saving consumers money on their utility bills, according to a Reuters story.

It's nice to have the recession to thank for something.

After a hot summer spending way too much money running the air conditioner, I'm looking forward to cheaper natural gas to heat my home.

The recession has cut industrial demand for energy, and has caused families to cut back on driving and reduced the needs for trucks to transport goods, according to the story. All of the low demand for energy has boosted petroleum, natural gas and coal inventories.

"As the economic downturn deepened throughout 2008 and 2009, energy demand fell, but supply was relatively slow to respond," the Energy Information Administration said in its weekly review of the oil market, as quoted by Reuters. "As a result, stocks of many fuels were pushed well above typical historical levels."

"In total, fuel supplies are stacking up well ahead of winter -- a bright spot for consumers that, ironically, is due in large measure to the recession," the Energy Department's forecasting arm said.

I don't know if my energy provider will pass along the savings, but CenterPoint Energy customers in Minnesota will have the lower wholesale natural gas prices passed on to them with their winter heating bills being lowered by up to 20%, CenterPoint announced.
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