The price of natural gas is plummeting at a pace that has caught even the experts off guard.

A 35 percent collapse in the futures price over the past year has been a boon to homeowners who use natural gas for heat and appliances and to manufacturers who power their factories and make chemicals and materials with it.

The country is flush with natural gas as a result of new drilling techniques that have enabled energy companies to tap vast supplies that were out of reach not so long ago. The country’s natural gas surplus has been growing even as the country burns record amounts.