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Coloradans could pay more for natural gas heating this winter

Posted at 4:34 PM, Sep 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-12 19:51:51-04

DENVER – Coloradans could pay a little more to heat their homes this winter, natural gas trading figures and speculation shows.

While the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says inventories toward the end of last winter were the highest ever recorded and those same levels are expected to set another high at the end of October, recent trends have shown a slight rise in prices that could rub off on consumers this winter.

Since overall gas usage was up during a hot summer and nationwide exports are up, prices have ticked up in recent weeks, which experts also attribute to higher gas usage by electricity-generating companies.

Inventories were up 8 percent from 2015 at the end of August, but refill season injections are on average down compared to the last five years.

Two Denver-based energy companies are calling for sharp spikes in gas prices over the next year – up to 75 percent higher – because of the increased demand, according to the Denver Post.

But both the EIA and market standard Henry Hub call for smaller increases over the winter and through next year of only about 20-30 percent. Even the upper bound for the confidence level remains lower than what Ponderosa Energy told The Post it expects prices to be by the end of next year.

Natural gas was trading close to $2.90 Monday, and futures trading shows it is expected to be trading around $3.30 this February.

In short, prices are expected to rise a little bit for consumers this winter, but it shouldn’t be as drastic compared to some of the major price swings in recent years.

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