Inflated Methane Prices Hit Residential Gas & Electric Bills

Latest Electric Bill 

Our 8.97kW rooftop solar panel system produced nearly twice as much electricity as we used in our home -and- approximately 375-miles of Chevy Bolt EV charging, during the 32-day billing period ended 4-27-23.

According to the electric company, our average temperature for that period was 5-degrees F warmer than last year. Due to our higher solar production than use, and an annual ‘true-up’ from net metering, our bill is a $13.30 credit. 

Electricity Price to Compare

Comparisons over the past 12 months, and past 4 years, as more coal-fired electricity generation has become gas-fired, and increasingly influenced by the global commodity market for methane gas and LNG. Slightly over half of our electricity is now produced from methane.

Latest Gas Bill

Our gas bill from Columbia Gas (NiSource) arrived 4-23-23. Below are the latest price comparisons. 

Since the methane gas we receive is tied directly to the local, western Pennsylvania market, right here on top of the Marcellus shale, it’s an accurate gauge of how much of a potential advantage it might be for having lower prices. 

Is it true?

What the two charts below illustrate, is that while natural gas prices have receded from their steep peaks 8 months ago, the 3 year lookback chart shows how elevated our gas prices remain. 

Price to Compare per Therm

0.21406 in April 2020 
0.45262 in April 2023 

Gas more than doubled in 3 years (2.11x) 

Of course these elevated prices also carryover into higher prices for electricity, since it’s increasingly generated from methane gas. Columbia Gas has also been aggressively involved in ongoing replacement of old gas lines under local roads, while converting affected home gas meters to high pressure ones.