Natural Gas

Missouri’s Total State Bill for Natural Gas at a Glance

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Missouri’s Total Expenditures for Natural Gas in 2010

About 71 percent of Missouri’s natural gas bill is paid by residential and commercial users for applications such as space heating, water heating and cooling (see Figure 1). According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, natural gas is the primary heating fuel in 60 percent of Missouri households.

In 2010, Missouri ranked 13th among states in natural gas expenditures by the residential sector, 16th in expenditures by the commercial sector, 22nd in expenditures by the industrial sector and 35th in natural gas expenditures by the electric utility sector. Missouri ranked 20th in total expenditures for natural gas.

The industrial and electric utility sectors account for 29 percent of Missouri’s natural gas bill, with the electrical sector accounting for 15 percent of natural gas used and the industrial sector accounting for 23 percent of natural gas consumed.  Nationally, half of all natural gas is used by the industrial and electric utility sectors. 

Changes in Missouri’s Total Expenditures for Natural Gas, 1990-2010

Expenditures for natural gas, like that for electricity and transportation fuels, trended upward through the 1990s and 2000s. The state’s natural gas bill in 2010 was about 141 percent higher than in 1990, but it is 14 percent lower than expenditures in 2006 (see Figure 2).  

Expenditures for natural gas did not move consistently in one direction but varied between 1990 and 2010, depending on severity of the winter.  Figure 3 shows the average number of heating degree days (i.e., days with temperature below 65 degrees Fahrenheit) in Missouri for each year between 1990 and 2010.  The number of heating days varies considerably.  However, the overall trend, shown by the solid straight line, is negative.  Missouri natural gas costs increased dramatically between 2002 and 2006, but have experienced a slow decline since (see Figure 4).  The values in Figure 4 represent the annual prices paid by each sector.  In the residential sector, natural gas prices increased between 2002 and 2006 at a compound annual growth rate of 15.3 percent and decreased between 2006 and 2010 at a compound annual growth rate of 4.6 percent.  In the commercial sector, prices increased between 2002 and 2010 at a compound annual growth rate of 15.2 percent and decreased between 2006 and 2010 at a compound annual growth rate of 7.4 percent.  In the industrial sector, prices increased between 2002 and 2006 at a compound annual growth rate of 18.5 percent and decreased between 2006 and 2010 at a compound annual growth rate of 7.1 percent. 

Figure 3

Figure 4

Figure 5

Figure 5 shows the overall pattern of natural gas consumption between 1990 and 2010.  The trend line for the commercial and industrial sectors is essentially flat.  Natural gas use in the residential sector shows a generally negative trend, peaking in 1996 and falling so that by 2010, the average number of BTUs consumed is roughly 0.50 percent lower than the consumption in 1990.  In contrast, the average number of BTUs consumed by the electric power sector rose 12.9 percent between 1990 and 2010.

The general trend in natural gas expenditures indicates a 0.78 percent increase in natural gas consumption between 2009 and 2010.  Contributing factors for this increase are changes in the weather, reductions in natural gas prices (due to the availability of shale gas), and the modest increases in consumption in the residential sector.

Data Sources

Statistics presented in this fact sheet are based on energy consumption, price and expenditure data from the State Energy Data System (SEDS) provided by the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA).  In addition to the SEDS data, EIA also provides more recent data on average residential, commercial and industrial natural gas prices.