The cold weather across the country this week provides a stark reminder that home heating costs have soared again this Winter. Here’s a look at why prices are up across the board, and what you can do to lower your utility bill.
Households are paying a lot more this year, to guard against Winter’s chill. The U.S. Energy Information Administration projected most households would see a jump in heating costs based on NOAA’s forecast of a slightly colder Winter. U.S. Energy Information Administration Press Officer Chris Higginbotham saying: “We expect because of a colder winter, folks are going to be using more energy to heat their homes.”
The cost of heating a home with Natural Gas is forecast to rise 28% for the Winter, October through March. Heating oil – up 27% over last Winter. Electric heating costs — up 10%.
Much of the push in Oil and Natural Gas prices here at home are a collision of supply and demand with uncertainty abroad — like that from Russia’s war in Ukraine. Higginbotham adding: “As this war continues and nations choose to further sanction Russia, that would have a large effect on the way commodities are produced, and the way commodities move around the global market.”
Lingering high inflation pushing up the cost of everything else from groceries to shelter. Mark Wolfe of the National Energy Assistance Directors Association saying: “Even though these energy prices have been cyclical in the past, there’s a lot of concern this year, that prices could stay high for the foreseeable future.”
Mark Wolfe of the National Energy Assistance Directors Association, which represents State Directors of the Federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program — known as LIHEAP, says their recent report found more than 20 Million American families behind on utility bills. Wolfe adding: “We’ve never seen prices this high, along with high food prices, and high rent prices, so this is a potential crisis coming.”
Meaning the Winter could prompt more tough choices for some households.