Will Mild Winter Affect Summer Energy Bills?

Expert says summer bills may not be that bad

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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.

Dallas homeowner Sandy Walkington said it would be a nice change of pace. She said she has already noticed her winter heating bills are down compared to last year.

"Probably around 25 percent less -- we just haven't had to use heat as much," she said.

Walkington said her heat is usually off during the day, with the windows cracked open as the day goes on.

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