Erie where I recently spoke at Gannon University and the surrounding region have the coldest, longest winters in Pennsylvania that create big heating bills. Yet, Marcellus Shale gas supply is playing a major role in making winters in Erie less financially hard.
NFG is the local gas utility that supplies 214,000 customers, and its peak price was $19.71 for a thousand cubic feet of gas on August 1, 2008. A typical NFG customer uses 95 thousand cubic feet each year and faced an annual $1,872.45 bill at the August, 2008 price.
Today NFG's current price is $9.56 for a thousand cubic feet or $ 907.20 for a year to a typical customer using 95,000 cubic feet. The price reduction since August 2008 amounts to more than 50% and creates a $965 saving per year.
Speaking of the latest 8.2% price reduction that NFG passed through to its customers effective November 1, NFG said: "The decrease is the direct result of a continuing decline in the market price of natural gas, largely due to the increased supply, particularly from the Marcellus Shale development." http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111101/NEWS02/311019962&template=mobile.
Natural gas heating customers in the Erie region have received nearly one thousand dollars per year in heating bill savings largely due to Marcellus shale gas production. Savings of that size matter a lot for median income families and even more for those near or below the poverty line.