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U.S. Natural Gas Demand in 3 Charts

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In the most recent edition of Natural Gas Monthly, the U.S. Energy Information Administration examined natural gas consumption across the nation's residential, power, commercial, and industrial economic sectors. 

The study — which modeled U.S. natural gas deliveries to end use customers over the past five years from January 2010 to June 2015 — identified two peaks in U.S. natural gas demand, which are largely dictated by seasonal weather conditions. As shown in the first two charts below, the first and most significant peak occurs in mid-winter when lower temperatures drive up natural gas demand for space heating. This peak is mainly driven by increased demand in the residential and commercial sectors and, to a lesser degree, in the industrial sector.


Conversely, the electric power sector — which has become the nation's largest consumer of natural gas as its use of coal has significantly declined — peaks in natural gas demand during the summer months when electricity use reaches its highest point. On average, the power sector almost doubles its natural gas consumption at its summer peak, from about 16 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in the fall and spring to 30 Bcf/d.

However, when taken altogether, the nation's overall natural gas consumption still plateaus in winter. And, as regularly discussed in the Direct Energy Business Weekly Energy Market Update, natural gas is placed in storage during warmer months to help manage demand spikes in winter. 

As temperatures continue to drop over the coming months, stay tuned to the Direct Energy Business Blog for more insights on how to optimize your natural gas use. To learn how businesses can better manage and maximize their natural gas expenditures, check out this recent spotlight on GasPortfolio

Posted: September 17, 2015