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Saturday, 20 April 2019 22:58

GAS STORAGE CONTINUES TO RECOVER FROM A COLD WINTER SEASON WITH WEEKLY INJECTIONS. GAS FORWARDS REMAIN STABLE AND IN CONTANGO. PERFECT TIME FOR RESIDENCES AND BUSINESSES TO RATELOCK POWER AND GAS FOR TERM CONTRACTS.

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Natural gas markets had a short trading week due to Good Friday.  Prompt month contract ended the week down 6%, settling at $2.49 / MMBtu.  The 12, 24, and 36-month contracts were also down, settling at $2.70; $2.69; and $2.67 / MMBtu respectively.  This is all driven by low demand due to stable spring temperatures in the Henry Hub service territory.  Local markets can see big volatility swings driven by unseasonable temperatures in the weather patterns.  While wholesale power and gas markets are stable, there are still significant benefits to rate locking power and gas retail supply contracts.  Allow your ESCO supply company to work for your service, and manage market volatility with fixed price contracts.  Variable rate contracts do not offer price protection (or value) in my own humble opinion.

New gas storage levels came out on April 18, 2019 for the week ending April 12, 2019. The overall storage level ended the week at 1,247 / MMBtu, a much-needed increase in the system of 92 MMBtu.  Natural gas storage levels are 24.9% below the 5-year average, and 4.4% below where they were 12 months ago.  Keep in mind that this is storage in the system.  As you can see from the charts, the storage levels are markedly below historical averages, but there are still ample supplies of natural gas in the ground that has yet to be tapped by producers. 

Variable rate plans are meant to be pegged to an index (keep these market movements in mind when evaluating comparable billing periods!). While pass through components such as capacity and ancillary services costs have come up, the commodity itself remains in check.  The low-price environment continues to present a great opportunity for commercial and residential customers to lock in power and gas rate plans for the next 12-month period and beyond.

Attractive opportunities are in the market for customers to hedge out price volatility.  Keep the risk where it belongs, with your well-seasoned energy supply partner.

Shoulder season continues, where much needed weekly injections into the natural gas storage system can be expected.  Storage levels are low.  This should cause concern to everyone on variable rate power and gas supply plans leading into the summer volatility season.

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