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Will Mild Winter Affect Summer Energy Bills?


The following ran on the Feb. 27, 2012, edition of NBC DFW. Economist Bernard Weinstein provided expertise for this story.

March 9, 2012

By Ray Villeda

A new study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says this past January was the warmest on record for the country. Here in North Texas, it also means heating bills were lower.

It raises the question, will there be an effect on prices this summer?

Bud Weinstein at Southern Methodist University’s Maguire Energy Institute predicts there will be a positive effect on summer energy bills.

Weinstein said it’s very much because of supply and demand.

"We are swimming in natural gas as a result of shale movement here in North Texas at the Barnett Shale, with so much gas and a relatively mild winter," Weinstein said.

Because the winter has been so mild, there hasn't been that much of a need. That helps drive the prices down.

"Given the unique circumstance of having a glut of natural gas on market [and] likelihood prices will remain low, it's a good deal this winter and a good deal this summer," he said....