COLLINSVILLE, Ill., March 31, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Though the official 2014/2015 winter heating season is drawing to a close, Mother Nature isn't willing to completely let go of the cooler temperatures, so it's good news that Ameren Illinois natural gas customers will benefit from another drop in the cost of natural gas. Because Ameren Illinois purchases a significant amount of natural gas for its customers during the summer and stores it underground for later use, the benefits will continue next winter when the lower cost gas is used by customers.
Since this time last year, per therm natural gas costs for Ameren Illinois customers have dropped by almost 35 percent and are at their lowest levels since 2002. Ameren Illinois' gas supply charge for April 2015 will be 42.05 cents per-therm as compared to 51.94 cents per-therm in March 2015, reflecting a decrease of 19 percent. The continued decline in the cost of natural gas is a reflection of oversupplied market conditions for natural gas caused by strong production growth from shale gas regions in the U.S.
"Natural gas prices continue to decline in the U.S. due to record levels of natural gas production coupled with relatively flat demand. U.S. production was up 11.5 percent from December 2013 to December 2014 – this is good news for natural gas customers who are reaping the benefits," said Ken Dothage, director of Gas Supply for Ameren Illinois. "
Beyond heating, most Ameren Illinois customers rely on natural gas stoves, clothes dryers and water heaters for comfort and convenience. Because these appliances can account for about 20 percent of a residential customer's annual gas usage, the decline in natural gas costs will benefit our 812,000 customers throughout the year.
"Natural gas continues to be a great value and a clean resource for our customer's energy needs. With the lower PGA, and under current rates, the average Ameren Illinois customer that utilizes 745 therms per year will save approximately $75 annually. We continue to do everything possible to take advantage of the lower energy costs and pass the savings on directly to our customers. It's a 365-day job, " Dothage added.
Natural gas is a commodity which Ameren Illinois purchases from various producers for delivery to its customers. Ameren Illinois does not profit from or mark-up the cost of natural gas supplies purchased. While the cost of natural gas has fallen dramatically, the total amount of a customer's bill will depend on factors such as the temperature and the actual amount of energy a customer uses.
Customers can take actions to reduce their natural gas bills without sacrificing personal comfort. Information on energy saving practices and budget billing strategies are available at AmerenIllinois.com/programs.
About Ameren Illinois
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 812,000 natural gas customers in Illinois. Our mission is to power the quality of life. Our service territory covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com, find us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois or Facebook.
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SOURCE Ameren Illinois