What’s Driving Up Gas Prices In California?

by | Jun 11, 2023 | Trending

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Gas prices in California have been on a steady rise, leaving many residents wondering what factors are behind this upward trend. Utilities are necessary, but no one appreciates receiving a utility bill in the mail. Even if our accounts are fair, we’d all like to spend slightly less on energy. After all, we can’t survive without our utilities. Nevertheless, the energy cost varies significantly from state to state and is determined by your lifestyle.

In this blog article, we will share light on the key drivers behind the surge in gas prices in the Golden State. From supply and demand dynamics to taxes and regulations, we’ll explore the various factors contributing to the current situation and shed light on the complexities of California’s gasoline market.

What Is The Average Monthly Gas Price In California?

According to the numbers, California’s average monthly gas price is slightly more than $100. Gas is employed to provide warmth to your residence and warm your water and is frequently utilized to power your cooker or oven. While $100 is the typical monthly cost, the sum you pay can vary based on the time of year. You’ll spend more on gas in the winter when you’re warming your residence, whereas you’ll save on gas in summer when your electricity bills are going to be higher. The bill of a home is determined by a variety of factors, including:

  • The years of your home – older homes are less insulated than modern buildings, using more energy to heat in the cooler months and cool in the summertime.
  • The dimension of your home – more significant is always more expensive.
  • The total number of people who reside in the house – more people means more money.
  • The lifespan of your appliances – newer stoves, furnaces, and other devices use less energy and hence cost less to operate.
  • Natural gas prices fluctuate in the same manner as oil prices, affecting your payment amount.

The average value of gas prices in California from 06-Feb-2023 to 15-May-2023 is 1.22 U.S. Dollars, with a low of 1.17 U.S. Dollars on 06-Feb-2023 and a high of 1.25 U.S. Dollars on 13-Mar-2023. The global average gas price during this period is 1.81 US dollars.

CA gas price graph

What Is Included In A Gas Bill?

The gas consumption, expressed in CCFs (hundreds of cubic feet) or therms, will be the essential item on the gas account. 100,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units) equal one therm. This value is subsequently multiplied by the unit cost, which varies by state and is determined by the commodity’s price. A small transportation fee will be incorporated into the unit price. In addition, a client will be paid for each service day. Local and state fees and levies, which vary depending on where you live, will be added on top of this.

The median cost of a house in California in March 2020, as the U.S. Census Bureau reported, was $320,000. This translates to consumers purchasing homes with 1,850 square feet, three bedrooms, and two bathrooms. Because a house with three bedrooms is the country’s median dwelling size, one can expect its gas price in California to be in the $100 range.

Is Gas Heating Costly?

Installing a gas furnace is more expensive than installing an electric furnace. In a three-bedroom house, a gas stove costs around $4,500 and $6,000 to run, and an electric furnace costs anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000. Electrical furnaces are not just less expensive to install, but they are also more efficient. Some new ones achieve 100% annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE), while gas furnaces range between 55% and 97%. Considering this, gas-powered furnaces frequently heat a home faster than electric furnaces.

Despite this, gas heating is less expensive due to the electricity price. Although renewable energy sources are cheaper and gas prices in California are projected to grow, gas heating expenses should remain stable for the foreseeable future.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, approximately half of all houses in the United States use gas from the earth to heat buildings and water, cook, and dry laundry. The single most significant usage of natural gas in residences is heating. Cooling and heating are always the most crucial energy users in the home market since many of us must heat and cool our houses in the winter and summer. Water heaters come next, followed by stoves, ovens, and gas-powered dryers.

Why Is The Electric And Gas Bill Rising?

There are various factors why the gas prices in California may be higher than the national average in your area:

1. Your residence is an older structure

Modern building codes are significantly more energy sensitive than previous ones. We have realized that insulating is a critical technique to minimize consumer electricity and gas bills and overall energy utilization. Older homes are sometimes draughty and hard to keep at a pleasant temperature, but there are techniques to increase a building’s energy efficiency.

2. The appliances you have are less efficient than they could be

Today’s Instruments utilize significantly less energy than those manufactured a few years ago. Electronic devices on standby used to consume nearly as much energy as when they were in use—but now they consume almost none.

3. In the winter, a thermostat is set excessively, and in the summer, it is set too low

Lowering the thermostat by a few degrees in the winter can drastically cut your power and gas bills, while the opposite is true in the summer. We’ve grown accustomed to wearing the same clothing indoors, regardless of the weather, which has increased our energy consumption.

4. Your address

Aside from the per-kWh costs of electricity and gas, the place you live significantly impacts your energy consumption. Living in an area with harsh temperatures will boost the gas prices in California.

How Money Can Be Saved On The Gas Bill?

There are numerous ways to cut your gas expense. Some will demand payment, but you remain able to save money on your monthly gas bill:

1. Increase the degree of insulation and your home’s energy efficiency. Numerous current methods can assist your home in resisting temperature swings. You may need to replace your windows, upgrade your air conditioning and heating systems, and add additional insulation.

2. Purchase new appliances to replace old ones. Modern technology has enabled us to create far more efficient devices.

3. Set your thermostat to a lower temperature in the winter and a higher temperature in the summer. The majority of a gas bill is spent on heating and cooling. This doesn’t have to be spectacular; simply 2-3 degrees would be enough, and you won’t notice any difference!

4. Do not heat or chill portions of your home that are not in use. Many thermostats allow for separate settings for each room in the house. Rather than simply selecting an insulated setting for the entire house, try not heating rooms that aren’t in use. Also, do not turn on or off your home while no one is around; properly set the timer.

To Conclude

Gas prices in California vary greatly from region to region, while in some circumstances, the expense of other commodities helps to offset the apparent price disparity. People have all become much more energy sensitive than we used to be, with the threat of global warming at the top of every country’s priority list. Attempt to find out why your gas expense is more than typical in your town, county, or state. With a little effort and planning, one may drastically lower gasoline expenditures. Remember that we’ve been focusing primarily on gas bill statistics. People should look into their services to see if they can save money elsewhere.

Also ReadRenewable Power Overtakes Coal in the US for the First Time: A Landmark Shift in Power Generation

Author

  • Dr. Tanushree Kain

    Tanushree is a passionate Environmentalist with a Doctorate in Environmental Sciences. She is also a Gold medalist in Master of Science (M.Sc), Environmental Sciences. She has 6 years of experience as a guest faculty in Environmental Sciences. With her combination of technical knowledge and research expertise, she can create clear, accurate, and engaging content that helps users get the maximum information regarding environmental topics.

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