What's New at NGA?

NGA Updates First Responder Natural Gas Safety Course
NGA's top priority is helping keep our members and their communities safe. That is why NGA recently completed upgrades to our Natural Gas Safety Course platform. This program provides critical safety training and education for first responders throughout the northeast. You can find the updates through https://ngafirstresponder.com/.

The upgrades include:

  • Elevated member-specific Brand Alignment throughout the platform as well as emails and certificates.
  • Improved outreach and communications.
  • Enhanced user experience.
  • Improved reporting for members.

NGA Hosts Annual Pre-Winter Meeting for Northeast Regulators
On Tuesday, November 14th, NGA hosted the annual Pre-Winter Briefing. Along with our partners from northeast LNG and pipeline companies, we provided an update to regulators from across the Northeast on the state of gas industry preparedness in advance of the winter. We want to thank our member companies Enbridge, Kinder Morgan, Inc., Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P., TC Energy, Excelerate Energy, Repsol, and Constellation for their participation in the forum and their efforts to ensure energy security in the region.

You can learn more about the Pre-Winter Briefing, and review the presentations, here: https://www.northeastgas.org/2023_prewinter_briefing_presentations.php

NGA Responds to FERC/NERC Joint Statement on the Necessity of Everett Marine Terminal
On November 6, FERC Chairman Willie L. Phillips and NERC CEO James B. Robb released a joint statement expressing concern about the potential loss of the Everett Marine Terminal, and the consequences that might have on the region's energy supplies. We commend the FERC and NERC for their continued focus on electric reliability and affordability in the New England power market.
As a trade association representing natural gas utilities (LDCs), interstate pipeline companies, liquefied natural gas (LNG) providers, and others, our position is that Everett Facility remains a highly valuable resource. The region is highly dependent on natural gas for both home heating and electric power generation and this increasingly interrelated nature of the electric and gas systems is particularly apparent during the high-demand winter periods. To best ensure energy security for the region, Everett should be maintained, until a time when it may be clear that the supply, balancing flexibility, and reliability role of Everett has been firmly supplanted by an installed alternative resource.
You can find the joint FERC/NERC statement here:
https://www.ferc.gov/news-events/news/joint-statement-ferc-nerc-reliability. For a more detailed perspective please refer to NGA's comments to the FERC from August:
https://www.northeastgas.org/pdf/nga_comments_82523.pdf

NGA Files Comments with FERC Expressing Region's Need for Everett LNG Facility to Remain Operational
On August 24th, NGA filed comments with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regarding the agency's New England Winter Gas-Electric Forum Docket No. AD 22-9-000.
NGA stated that Everett should be retained in order to best ensure energy security for the region. To read the comments filed by NGA visit its website here:
https://www.northeastgas.org/regulatory_filings.php

Important Winter Safety Tips
It's important to be safe all year regarding natural gas.

If you smell gas in your home or building, please leave the location immediately, move to a safe location and call 911, or call your local gas company.

More information can be found here:
https://www.northeastgas.org/leak_recognition.php#suspect

Investing in a natural gas detector is an investment for life and essential for any building using natural gas.

More information can be found here:

https://www.northeastgas.org/fuel_detector.php

In case of a snowstorm, be sure to clear snow and ice from external natural gas equipment at your home or building.

More information can be found here:
https://www.northeastgas.org/snow_ice_removal.php

Finally, be aware of carbon monoxide risks. More information can be found here:
https://www.cdc.gov/co/faqs.htm

U.S. EIA Releases "Winter Fuels Outlook"; Lower Energy Prices Projected; Natural Gas Projected to be Lowest Cost Heating Source for U.S. and Northeast Region
On October 11, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its latest "Short-Term Energy Outlook" and annual "Winter Fuels Outlook." Among the observations:

  • "We forecast lower average natural gas bills for U.S. consumers that heat their homes primarily with natural gas this winter heating season (November 1 to March 31) compared with last winter. The lower residential winter natural gas expenditures we forecast in the 2023 Winter Fuels Outlook supplement to our October Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) are due, mainly, to lower natural gas prices. The wholesale U.S. natural gas spot price at the national benchmark Henry Hub started last winter heating season averaging $5.66 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) in November. This November, we expect the Henry Hub price to be 45% lower than last year, averaging $3.12/Mcf."

EIA also noted in October 2023, in its annual "Winter Fuels Outlook", that natural gas would be the lowest cost home heating energy source in the Northeast for the 2023/24 winter (see Table WFO1 released by EIA):

https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/xls/wf01.xlsx

Look for more information online here:
https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/

FERC Releases Winter Energy Market Outlook
On November 16, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released its "2023-2024 Winter Energy Market and Electric Reliability Assessment."

The report and presentation can be found online here:
https://ferc.gov/news-events/news/report-2023-2024-winter-energy-market-and-electric-reliability-assessment

The report has some interesting data and market info relative to the New England energy market, including:

  • "the potential exists for spot natural gas prices in New England to rise substantially higher in extreme cold weather, which could encourage spot LNG shipments to the region if there is sufficient time to arrange such shipments."
  • "In winter 2023-2024, the ISO-NE is expected to have the largest share of natural gas-fired electricity generation at 49%...since PJM's total generation is about eight times larger than ISO-NE's, PJM is expected to burn more natural gas for power generation even though natural gas-fired generation is a smaller share of overall generation in PJM (42%) than in ISO-NE (49%)."
  • "National Grid added liquefaction capability to its existing LNG storage facility, Fields Point LNG in Rhode Island, allowing National Grid to diversify winter peaking supplies by bringing in natural gas by pipeline instead of transporting LNG by truck."
  • "the Northeast Energy Center in Massachusetts completed its LNG peak storage facility, which also connects to National Grid's LNG facilities, and the project is expected to be in service for this winter."
  • "Tennessee Gas Pipeline's East 300 upgrade project, which consists of upgraded compressor stations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, went into service on November 1."
  • "Currently, futures prices at the Algonquin Citygates hub reflect lower natural gas prices in New England for winter 2023-2024 compared to last winter. Despite lower prices this winter, Algonquin Citygates is expected to have the highest futures prices for winter 2023-2024 of any U.S. hub - averaging $11.71/MMBtu, a decline of $7.70/MMBtu, or 40%, from last winter's average settled price. In New England, market exposure to high global LNG prices continues to contribute to elevated winter natural gas futures prices, as the New England regional natural gas market relies on imported LNG in the winter to meet peak natural gas demand, particularly during periods of pipeline capacity constraints. As a result, the New England region continues to compete for LNG volumes with Europe and Asia. Most of the year, the price at the Algonquin Citygates hub, located outside of Boston, is typically below the Henry Hub price. But, during winter months when natural gas demand in New England peaks above the region's natural gas pipeline import capacity, prices at the Algonquin Citygates hub routinely increase above Henry Hub prices."

Natural Gas Represents Majority of Northeast Home Heating Market, according to Latest Annual Census Data
On September 14, the U.S. Census Bureau released its latest American Community Survey with data for 2022. The survey includes data on home heating fuels by state. The 2022 data indicates that natural gas represents 54% (53.8%) of the total home heating market in the nine Northeast states.
The natural gas share of home heating by Northeast states is as follows:
CT, 36%; ME, 8%; MA, 52%; NH, 22%; NJ, 73%; NY, 58%; PA, 51%; RI, 54%; and VT, 18%.
The Census data can be found online here:
https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/news/data-releases.html