The Entire Great Plains Is Experiencing Power and Gas Strain
On Saturday, most Centerpoint Energy natural gas consumers received an email asking customers to turn down their thermostats due to a temporary short supply. It has certainly been a hot topic of conversation on social media the whole state over, and just like any topic on social media, there's a lot of misinformation being floated around by Ken's and Karen's all over the area. Here's what's up.
The problem and the huge ask from utility companies isn't just affecting us in SWOK. It's also not limited to just natural gas customers either. These thermostat lower requests have gone out to most of the residents in the Great Plains. People with natural gas heating of course, but also electric and heat pump homes also since a lot of electricity is generated with natural gas. Customers from Montana, the Dakota's, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kansas are all being asked to chill out a little bit, and it all comes down to supply and demand.
Temperatures have hit historic numbers across the middle portion of the country. Even areas that are usually around 70-80 in February are seeing below freezing temperatures. It snowed in South Padre Island, Texas. February is prime surf weather at the most Southern part of America's middle. Because the weather is so out of place, the problem with supply is Southern natural gas wells aren't built for weather like this around here, so to avoid freezing, most of these wells are shut down to protect against the weather. This forces natural gas companies to use their own stockpiled reserves and purchase other companies reserves. With supply and demand, and the current trend of the gas price, keeping your home at a normal 70 degrees could end up costing every customer an arm and a leg.
This time last week, natural gas was trading on the market at about $3 per unit. Last Friday, the cheapest price it was bought for was $125 per unit. Over the next few days, it's only going to climb until temperatures come back up to normal at the end of the week. So, if you can stand to chill the house down a little bit, that'd be terrific of you. I understand some can't, my 90 year old grandma keeps her house somewhere between 80 and 90 because when you're old, you're cold... but the rest of us healthy people can make do with an extra layer on and making good use of blankets. It's literally a request for you to lounge around bundled up.
If you can, please do. If you can't, it's understandable. If you can but refuse to, you're garbage.