Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Homeowners betting on natural gas

Homeowners are increasingly betting on low priced natural gas for the long term.

On Sunday, the Patriot News reported a steady trend of local homeowners increasingly switching from oil-based heat to natural gas heat.  They cite many factors for this switch, but most important is the expectation that local supplies of Marcellus Shale natural gas will continue to deliver low-cost natural gas over the lifetime of their new heating system investment (typical cost is $3,500 to $9,000). 

UGI claims that the average family can save 50-55% or $1,000 to $1,500 per year by switching from oil to gas.  UGI saw record residential switching from oil to gas conversion in 2011 and is expecting to surpass those records in 2012.  Demand is so high that customers wanting to convert are experiencing longer than usual waiting periods for UGI to perform the work.

Cheap, plentiful supplies of natural gas are looking even more attractive than oil as Iran scoffs at EU sanctions and repeats threats to block the Straits of Hormuz, a major oil chokepoint that ushers about 17 million barrels per day of oil through its waters.

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