If you’re shopping around for a new natural gas plan, you may be wondering when is the best time to lock in natural gas rates? That's an important question to answer in order to get the right plan for you. Knowing when natural gas prices normally change may help you take advantage of lower rates and secure a better price for the long term.

What does it mean to “lock in” natural gas prices?

When we say "locking in," we mean entering into an energy contract where the supply rate of natural gas is fixed, or remains the same over time. That will ensure that you pay the same supply rate for your energy use from month to month. This means your supply rate won’t be affected when the market price of natural gas shifts over the course of your contract term.

When you lock in natural gas prices, you get the benefit of having a plan with a stable rate, or a fixed-rate plan, with a more predictable natural gas bill each month. You may even be able to find contracts with terms up to two years. But the longer the term you commit to, the more you’ll want to make sure you’re entering the deal when prices are low. It pays to know the best time to lock in natural gas prices.

The best time to lock in natural gas rates

Natural gas has a fairly cyclical market. So, if you’re not already committed to a contract, you can use seasonality to determine when prices will most likely be lowest. As people use more natural gas over high-demand seasons, market prices will rise. So, the best time to lock in natural gas rates is during low-demand months.