Talking Numbers

Why heating bills may go down (and it’s not because of the weather)

Talking Numbers

Winter may be here, but one energy supply has been growing substantially -- and that may help heating bills down the road.

Though wintry weather is hitting the northern parts of the United States, there may be good news down the road for consumer heating bills and it's not just because spring is three months away.

Instead, it's that one supply of energy has actually been increasing substantially in the United States – natural gas.

To be sure, January is the peak time for natural gas. For the past three Januarys, the average daily consumption of natural gas in the US was 91.4 billion cubic feet, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration. May is usually lightest month for natural gas – for the last three Mays, the average daily usage was 56.6 billion cubic feet.

(Watch: Cold weather keeps nat gas hot)

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But while natural gas usage has been fairly predictable, supply has grown significantly over the past decade. The past November, production was at nearly 2.2 trillion cubic feet for the month, compared to 1.7 trillion in November 2003. During that time frame, the price of natural gas has fallen 25%.

Even though natural gas is up 18 in the past month, CNBC contributor Gina Sanchez, founder of Chantico Global, says that the colder weather is only a temporary factor in the price.

"If you're trading on the weather, I think that's a pretty risky trade," says Sanchez. "On the whole, supply and demand would suggest that natural gas should be falling, not rising."

"If you look at the longer-term, the US has now surpassed Russia as the largest natural gas producer in the world," notes Sanchez. "That is a lot of supply."

(Watch: Trading the weather)

Yet Talking Numbers contributor Richard Ross, Global Technical Strategist at Auerbach Grayson, says the long-term chart of natural gas points to higher prices down the road. With that said, he is wary of trading it given the large spikes both up and down in the price. For example, in the first six months of 2008, natural gas nearly doubled; in the last six months of that year, it more than halved.

"Natural gas is notoriously a particularly fickle instrument to trade," says Ross. "Usually, I tell my clients, 'Go kick yourself in the shins rather than trading natural gas. It's probably more fun.'"

What the video above to see Sanchez and Ross on what they see next for natural gas.

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