Californians should be prepared to spend more to stay warm in their houses this winter.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its Winter Fuels Outlook that estimates the country's energy consumption, pricing, and spending from October 1 to March 31.
Natural gas users in California and other 12 Western states will pay $654 over that six-month period, which is up $530, or 23.5 percent, from the previous year.
Other parts of the country will be spending even more.
Natural gas customers in the Midwest are expected to pay $818 over the same six-month period.
So why is the cost of natural gas spiking? There are several reasons, as the Union-Tribune report explains:
- "natural gas production has still not completely recovered in the Gulf of Mexico region after Hurricane Ida made landfall at the end of August
- oil and gas companies have been slow to ramp up drilling activities because, after taking a financial beating in the aftermath of the pandemic, investors have pressured them to instead make reducing debt a priority, and
- gas demand in Europe and Asia has soared, with prices in some European Union countries up 400 percent to 500 percent."