TD report: Growth in shale natural gas saving U.S. consumers billions

CALGARY – TD Bank economists say growing U.S. shale gas output means billions in cost savings for residential and industrial consumers.

Technological advances have unlocked enormous supplies of natural gas from rock formations across the United States, pushing the price down to around $3.50 per 1,000 cubic feet.

TD says the price would be in the $10 to $12 range, if not for those burgeoning supplies.

In a report, the bank says American residential consumers can expect to save around $75 billion in utility costs in 2013 — equivalent to about $650 per household — assuming prices average $3.75 over the next year.

Across the entire manufacturing sector, TD says $50 billion can be shaved off energy input costs annually.

That’s not a huge amount for the entire industry, but the effect will be concentrated among heavy users such as chemicals, petroleum and coal, food and beverage, paper and primary metals.