The 50% of American homes that are heating with natural gas this winter are enjoying bargain prices and the furnaces that they are using are much more efficient than the ones that existed 30 years ago. While shale gas supply increases are the main reason for the gas bargain, increasing efficiency of natural gas equipment used by residential consumers is another downward pressure on gas prices.
One example of the decline in per home residential demand is the experience of the Philadelphia Gas Works, the largest municipal gas utility in the USA.
Around 1980, each residential heating customer used about 110 mcf (thousand cubic feet) per year. Now, they use 87 mcf. PGW has about the same number of residential customers as it had 30 years ago, but the gas demand of residential customers is down a lot. Residential consumers account for about 22% of natural gas consumption.
Much more efficient gas furnaces, water heaters, and other appliances is the explanation. The efficient equipment keeps you warm but uses less gas to do it.
Last point, remember to have regular maintenance of heating and cooling equipment to keep them working efficiently.