Consolidated Natural Gas Co.’s CNG Energy Index calculatedresidential heating and cooling energy needs averaged 7.7% belownormal for the country over the winter heating season (Nov. 1-March31). There were wide variations across the country, however, withabove normal energy needs in the Southwest and Lower MississippiValley.

“What we saw was really three distinct seasons last winter,”said Joseph H. Petrowski, president of CNG Energy Services. “Cooltemperatures in November and December pushed energy needs a littleabove normal-about 4%. Then, extremely mild weather in January andFebruary caused energy needs to plummet to about 25% below normal.In March, an early cold snap followed by record warm temperaturesacross much of the country pushed energy needs up about 18% abovenormal.”

The CNG Energy Index, developed by CNG Energy ServicesCorporation, takes into account outdoor temperatures, cloud cover,humidity and other factors in estimating heating and cooling energyrequirements for a typical single-family home.

The most recent data from the Energy Information Administrationshows gas consumption basically flat with consumption levels lastwinter. EIA estimated in its March Natural Gas Monthly that totalgas consumption for the winter was 11,028 Bcf, down about 3 Bcf(0.02%) from last winter. Estimating for January-March, EIAreported residential gas demand was down 1.9% (66 Bcf) for thewinter commercial consumption was down 0.1% (2 Bcf) and industrialgas demand was up 0.3% (13 Bcf). Data for the electric utilitysector was not separated out.

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