Energy boom a windfall for U.S. family income -IHS
NEW YORK, Sept 4 (Reuters) - American families will earn more money in the coming years as dollars from the nation's oil and gas boom trickle down to the average person, consultant IHS said in a report released on Wednesday.
Robust energy production will increase wages, cut energy and manufacturing costs, and add as much as $2,000 a year to each family's income by 2015, IHS said.
Last year, an average U.S. household earned $1,200 more because of the energy boom as oil and gas companies produced nearly 2 million barrels-per-day of oil, the report said.
The rush has added 2.1 million jobs to the U.S. economy in 2012, both directly and indirectly, and that number is expected to balloon to 3.3 million by 2020, a boon for an economy struggling with stubbornly high unemployment.
"This is a great story for jobs, for the tax base and now for the average household," said John Larson, a vice president of the firm that co-authored the report.
Families are expected to save on energy bills as natural gas replaces other relatively expensive energy sources, such as coal, as the main source to heat homes and water, according to Larson. IHS also anticipates some manufactured goods will cost less as factories pay less for input materials.
Over the last four years, U.S. power companies have either shut down or switched some 16,000 megawatts (MW) of coal-fired power plants due to cheap gas prices and stricter environmental rules on coal use.
However, the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects power companies to switch back to coal as natural gas prices climb next year.