Atmos Energy, North Texas' natural gas distribution utility, said today that the low price of natural gas seen during 2012 will mean affordable heating bills for consumers. "Natural gas supplies are higher than normal, which will mean the continued reliable delivery of natural gas to keep customers warm this winter," said John Paris, president of Atmos' Mid-Tex Division. A little more than half of Texas households use natural gas for heating and hot water. Atmos did not give an outlook for an average bill consumers could face this heating season, but natural gas prices were at 10-year lows this summer, when utilities buy gas and put it in storage in anticipation of higher demand in the winter. The National Weather Service is predicting an average winter heating season with more than average precipitation.
-- Jim Fuquay