Posted at: 09/30/2013 4:32 PM
| Updated at: 09/30/2013 5:49 PM
By: Bill Lambdin
SCHENECTADY - National Grid tells us they purchase natural gas on the wholesale market.
Fortunately, the United States has a large supply.
Although prices are forecast to go up a bit from last year, it gets passed along to customers at cost.
Meanwhile, National Grid makes its money delivering the product.
A rate plan approved last April lowers that cost.
"The expectation is that gas price will be down about 9%, a little over 9% this year," said William Flaherty of National Grid. "For the average customer, from November to April, they use about 711 therms. The actual price last year using that (average) was $643. The price expectation this year with the forecast is $581, which is a reduction of $62."
The other big source of heat in this area is oil.
National Grid representatives argue efficient equipment, well maintained, can produce savings of 30 per cent compared to oil and other forms of heat.
Of course there is a significant conversion cost and equipment and installation can make an family's specific cost comparison higher or lower.
But there are rebate programs out there intended to encourage heating equipment conversions.
"You can get a rebate of $840 all the way up to $1120 on heating equipment," said Laurie Poltynski of National Grid.