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Spot Market Prices Jump across the Northeast

February 18, 2015 By Josh Kessler

Spot market prices for natural gas and electricity soared this week in the Northeast as a result of winter weather. With average temperatures in the 20s across much of the country and constrained gas supplies, natural gas prices spiked throughout the week as heating needs increased. In turn, this caused electricity prices to spike, with much of the Northeast reliant on natural gas-based power generation.

Highlights:

  • New York – Gas prices rose nearly 500 percent, from $3.44 per MBtu on Monday to $20.56 on Friday. This coincided with a 67 percent increase in electricity prices, from $50.85 per MWh on Monday to $153.77 on Friday.
  • New England – Gas prices doubled, from $8.50 per MBtu on Monday to $17.00 on Friday, after peaking at $19.09 on Thursday. Electricity prices rose 40 percent from $50.85 per MWh on Monday to $138.63 on Friday, continuing to rise slightly from $136.34 on Thursday.
  • Mid-Atlantic – Gas prices rose nearly 300 percent, from $2.52 per MBtu on Monday to $10.02 on Friday. Electricity prices rose 47 percent from $32.44 on Monday to $61.40 on Friday.

Spot market prices were relatively stable throughout the rest of the country. Gas prices fluctuated between $2.00 and $3.00 per MBtu. Electricity prices were in the range of $20 to $35 per MWh throughout most of the country. The Northwest, which relies heavily on hydro supplemented by natural gas generation and electric power for heat, saw prices rise from $13.50 per MWh on Monday to about $18 to $20 throughout the rest of the week as temperatures fell.

See the Retail Energy Buyer newsletter for charts of weekly natural gas and electricity spot market prices and for maps of average weekly temperatures and deviations from average temperatures.

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