Natural gas prices have halved since the August peak: what will the impact on our bill be?

International gas prices have fallen substantially since 26 August, when a historic high of 346 euros per megawatt hour was reached. Yesterday, the average day price had dropped to just below 174 euros. Will we see this in our energy bills? And how will the situation evolve in the near future? 

Consumers will not benefit from the fall straightaway. Most households pay a fixed price each month for a period of 12 months, after which the energy supplier makes a total annual bill. You then pay extra or receive money back depending on what you already paid, and the monthly bill for the next year is being adjusted likewise. 

Energy suppliers calculate an average month price for gas and take into account your monthly consumption next. This is good news for our energy bill for September, but most families will not see any difference yet on their monthly bill. However, it will make a difference on the final year bill. In order to have a substantial drop, we would need at least one month or a trimester with lower prices on the markets, Simon November of the consumers' organisation Test-Aankoop explains. 

Experts however underline that the situation is still volatile. How cold will it be next winter? Will Russia export a little bit of natural gas via the Nordstream pipeline or nothing at all? This being said, the situation is more reassuring now than it was some months or weeks ago. 

Different European countries have made sure their gas supplies for next winter have been extended. Europe boasts a percentage of 85 percent, Germany even 90 percent as other sources - mainly liquid gas or LNG - were found. "These preparations have calmed the market down. There is a better feeling", says gas expert Moniek de Jong about the international gas market. "Action is being taken, and measures are welcomed in a positive way. Investors are more reassured."  

At present, the EU is only importing 9 percent of its gas from Russia, coming from 40 percent. "Putin's impact on the gas price is starting to shrink. The EU was not very much impressed by the closure of Nordstream 1. While it remained closed, the price kept dropping", underlines the VRT's energy pundit Luc Pauwels.  

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