HOUSTON — Natural gas prices have skyrocketed. According to CNN business, the price is up 180% in the past year alone.
Natural gas is one of the most popular ways to heat homes in the U.S. Experts are already warning that people should brace for much bigger bills when the cold weather kicks in. And that’s just if we see an average winter of average temperatures. Any severe cold snaps could drive up demand, driving up prices even more.
Pandemic rebound quicker than expected
So why is this happening? According to the New York Times, you can blame the pandemic.
When it hit and everyone went on lockdown, the prices of things like oil and gas fell and that led to less investment in new wells. But the economy came back quicker than many expected, and so did the demand for energy. Now the natural gas industry is back to building but it will take time.
Europe hit hardest
While Americans could face an ugly and expensive winter, people in Europe are bracing for the worst. Natural gas prices there just hit their highest levels on record. One financial analyst in Britain warned that this winter far too many people there will have to choose between heat and food, and that could cost lives.