- Residential consumers may tend to equate large rapid price increases with volatility. Price volatility becomes a concern only when prices or their monthly gas bills increase to a degree that is considered excessive (i.e., outside bounds that they normally experience).
- Residential gas prices from mid 1995 to 1998 generally are comparable to the average prices recorded between mid 1989 and 1994. Many observations are below average, and the prices that exceed average do so by no more than 6 percent.
- Prices during 1995 were consistently low, being below the 1989-1994 averages for each calendar month.
- Although heating season prices in 1996/97 were no more than 6 percent above recent average prices, the marked contrast from the prior heating season's level motivated a significant outcry from consumers. For certain months, the prices were almost 16 percent above the level of the prior year. It should be noted that the averages do not reflect the wide variation in prices by region.
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