Midlanders are paying less for natural gas
As you listen to the steady hum of your furnace, take some comfort in the fact that natural gas prices have dropped slightly since January.
Residents across eastern Nebraska are paying about 2 percent to 7 percent less for gas this month than last month.
Residential customers of the Metropolitan Utilities District are paying 67.93 cents per therm for gas in February, a drop of 7 percent. A therm is a unit of gas, and in a typical February, the average Omaha-area home will use about 180 therms.
Omaha-area customers of Aquila Inc. are paying 73.02 cents per therm, a drop of about 1.8 percent from last month. Other eastern Nebraska customers of Aquila are paying slightly more than their Omaha-area counterparts, but they have seen a bigger drop in price, as much as 5 percent.
If February produces average weather overall, the typical residential heating bill in the Omaha metro area will end up somewhere around $125, depending on taxes and other charges.
Mari Matulka, a spokeswoman for M.U.D., said a good supply of gas in storage is the reason for the price drop. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the amount of gas in storage in the lower 48 states at the end of January was about 3.5 percent ahead of the five-year average.