Saturday, January 14, 2012

Natural Gas Prices

CPS Energy, which is wholly owned by the city of San Antonio, is the sole supplier of electricity and natural gas for the Alamo City.  Interestingly, the City gets about 25% of its revenue from CPS.  This arrangement is somewhat worrisome because without the threat of competition to keep prices at bay, CPS vis-à-vis the City has little incentive to keep rates in check.  We do have a public utility commission whose job is to act like a watchdog over CPS, but natural competition is much better at protecting consumers than some bureaucratic, quasi government agency.  But, that’s a post for another day…

Here’s what I paid for natural gas over the past 14 months, beginning in Nov-2010.  I totaled all expenses for natural gas (fixed charge, fuel adjustment, etc.) and divided by consumption.  I multiplied the result by 100 to get at $/ccf.

With the recent fall in natural gas prices, I was expecting to see a decline in residential gas prices.  It’s difficult to see a convincing pattern, but prices have ebbed over the past several months.  However, the average price for gas was higher in Dec-2011 than Dec-2010.  Go figure.

So, what do you pay for natural gas?


  1. Here are the spot rates for natural gas. These would be 'wholesale' prices.

    1. Wonder why your link isn't hyper(linked).

      Nevertheless, yes, I saw those. Same website where I got my data in my earlier post. However, the spot prices are in MMBTUs. I'm sure there is a way to convert, but I'm too lazy.

      You heat with propane, right? Can you not get nat gas at your place? I'm considering replacing my hot water heater with a hot water on-demand system. I don't know how beneficial it will prove to be considering I live in a warm climate. I would think up north, one would be quite economical, if you have nat gas.

    2. I guess I just pasted the link.

      We use a propane/heat pump (electric) combo. The electric company here mostly generates with coal, so the new EPA rules on coal plants are particularly worrisome. We were on natural gas at our old house. I think there is no nat gas pipeline out here. We can't get cable TV either, or internet via cable.

      We are considering installing a pellet stove. We wanted a wood-burning stove, but don't have the right kind of chimney. Pellet stoves are grand - very very little waste output (98% effective or something) and cheap. $500/season in fuel, max. About $2000 to put one in.