We’ve come a long way since launching energy ratings on a handful of small appliances at Strosniders Ace Hardware Store in Bethesda and Silver Spring at the end of 2011.
Since then we’ve built a massive database of energy ratings on 150,000 products; appliances, lightbulbs, electronics and more covering over 30 categories. And we’re presenting the data in ways never seen before – pinpointed to every zip code with localized utility cost and environmental impact databases for electricity, natural gas, water, propane and heating oil.
In the process we’ve been able to touch millions of purchasing decision-makers – large and small with a new way to think about buying products that save utility costs and go easy on the environment.
On our 5th birthday – we want to say a big thank you to all of our partners and supporters in Retail, Enterprise, Home and elsewhere for supporting our growth over this period!
Natural gas prices to US residential customers declined by 4% in 2013, marking the 5th straight year on year decline. Prices last peaked in 2008 and have since dropped 26%.
Savenia Labs recent update of our GasSavvy-DB database includes natural gas prices and impacts by zip code. The highest natural gas prices in the country were in Hawaii – where residents paid almost $5 per therm, some 5x more than the median US price. Colorado has the lowest prices, around 75 cents per therm at a savings of 25% from the US median. Almost every state saw a decline in residential natural gas prices in 2013.
At the same time, electricity prices continue to rise (even though many power plants run on natural gas) and this is changing the dynamics of purchasing decisions for gas vs. electric appliances like furnaces and heat pumps – where traditionally the more efficient electric heat pump had the edge.
Despite this long-term trend, market conditions and weather can still have significant impacts on short-term pricing. Prices hit a 5-year high on Feb. 24 2014 as temperatures plunged due to the infamous polar vortex, with unanticipated high consumption pushing natural gas inventories to their lowest levels in the last 10 years. Since then, as inventories have adjusted, prices have subsided.
Going forward, pricing dynamics are harder to predict as more domestic gas supply (which normally means lower prices) is pitted against higher priced export customers. There are also outstanding questions on the environmental impacts of natural gas – both to air pollution and water supplies, and we look forward to larger scale studies to help quantify the differences vs. coal and other sources.
Buyers will make very different purchase decisions based on local gas, electric and water pricing which can swing operating costs quite dramatically based on zip code. Savenia captures these differences to help buyers make better decisions. In Retail, Enterprise and now for Home buyers and sellers.