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What’s in store for the price of natural gas? Market update: Winter 2022-2023

By District Energy posted 11-02-2022 06:11


Vicinity Energy Blog


Since June 2020, when COVID-19 shut down much of the U.S. economy, natural gas prices have been up a staggering 525%. Put differently, today’s gas prices have skyrocketed to levels unseen since 2008—and several factors could continue to drive prices even higher.

With the ongoing war in the Ukraine and uncertainty in Europe, an increase in liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, and warmer-than-average summer temperatures in much of the U.S., natural gas inventories are below historical averages. This leaves the market with less of a buffer going into peak winter heating season demand, providing potential upside price risk. While we have recently seen some modest dips in gas prices, Vicinity is still seeing record highs in many of the cities we serve.

However, despite the global energy shortage, Vicinity is well equipped to navigate these challenging times—unlike buildings with boilers that rely solely on natural gas. With multiple power supplies, backup generation, and several water and fuel sources, district energy systems are reliable, robust, and sustainable and provide safeguards to ensure 24/7 energy delivery.

Like Vicinity, many leading district energy systems (including those in Vancouver and Copenhagen) are implementing innovative strategies, like renewable fuels, heat pumps, and electric boilers, to further reduce their use and reliance on fossil fuels.

Vicinity’s Chief Customer Officer Jackie Bliss said it best in her recent article with Commonwealth Magazine:

“There will always be reasons not to act swiftly in our transition to a greener, cleaner economy, but now is not the time to lose resolve. Rather, the recent fears about energy security mean we should immediately triple down on our investment in renewables. That means more offshore wind and solar if it accomplishes our shared goals of improved energy security while also combatting climate change, an existential threat to our planet and future generations.”

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