By Andy Sheehan

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Even though it hasn’t exactly felt like winter so far, when it does, you’ll be spending a lot less to heat your home.

The price of natural gas is falling steadily and so are your electric bills.

Light the burner tip on your stove.

Ignite your furnace.

Feel free.

It’s going to be a whole less this winter than years past.

Sure the temperatures have been unseasonably warm and a milder winter is predicted but there’s a bigger factor — drilling in the Marcellus Shale.

“There is abundant supply of natural gas in our region right now. that abundant supply is forcing prices lower,” says Lynda Petrichevich of People’s Natural Gas.

Shale gas drillers in our region have become victims of their own success as they’ve produced a glut of natural gas that has had prices in free fall.

And the pain being felt in the gas fields will be a relief to the rest of us — as it will cost a whole lot less to heat your home this winter.

The price of peoples gas is dropping by 18-percent. Take off another 10 percent for forecasts of a milder winter and that comes to a 28 percent decrease — a big drop for the average home..

If you spent $152 dollar a month to heat you home last winter it will only cost you only $110 dollars a month this coming winter, and over a five-month span that’s a saving of $210 dollars.

“The reason why the reason mom and people are going to pay less to hear their house, washing their clothes, cook there food, heat their hot water is that we have an enormous supply of natural gas right here in their backyard,” says David Spigelmyer of the Marcellus Shale Coalition.

That excess supply means that local natural gas prices will stay low into next winter and the foreseeable future — a lack of pipeline infrastructure makes it hard for producers to deliver it to other markets.

“We’ve gone from a period of scarcity to abundance and from high price to affordability,” Spigelmyer says.

So local consumer will continue to reap the benefits — with a few more bucks in their pockets at a time when most folks could use the extra cash.

“It’s Christmas they could spend it on Christmas gifts. I’m sure they’ll find a good use for it,” Petrichevich says.

And that 28-percent savings is based on use having a normal winter temperature wise, but if the weather is anything like we’ve had this late fall the savings could be a whole lot greater.

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