Although natural gas and electricity prices were range bound over the previous three weeks, prices made a small move down this week. For this seven-day report period, the average 12-month price for natural gas on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) dropped by 3.6% and the 12-month average price for peak power on the PJM dropped by 1%.
The marketplace seemed to focus on the fact that the peak heating months of December and January were unusually warm. December 2012 was 23% warmer-than-normal and January 2013 was 16% warmer-than-normal in the Washington, D.C. region. Thanks to the lack of any significant heating demand, the natural gas storage fields are remain 16% above the five-year average.
Without colder-than-normal temperatures, energy prices have been unable to sustain any major price spikes. Unless temperatures in February and March take a sustained dip below historical averages, energy prices may have a tough time staging a winter rally.
The 14-day extended forecast from AccuWeather for the Washington, D.C. region (view details) calls for close-to-normal temperatures east of the Mississippi.