Home Heating Costs Could Rise by 30% or More
Consumers Brace for Higher Heating Costs This Winter
Americans across the country should prepare for higher energy costs this winter, with the White House warning that bills will be much higher compared to last year. With energy prices skyrocketing across the globe and supply dwindling, the Energy Information Administration, a government agency, warned that some parts of the country will see an average increase of 30% for their energy bills.
The report also calculated how a warmer or colder winter will impact the cost of heating homes. If the winter turns out to be 10% colder than average, bills could rise by 50%. If it’s 10% warmer, it will cost 22% more on average to heat a home. All told, households using natural gas are expected to pay an average of $746 from the beginning of October to the end of March, up from $573 in the same period last year.
Natural Gas Prices Surging
The forecast is based on natural gas futures, which recently hit a seven-year high amid record demand and a lack of inventory. Researchers at the Energy Information Administration also made their predictions based on the likelihood that the winter will be colder than it was in 2020 for most of the country.
Rising energy costs this winter will put more pressure on households which are already experiencing higher prices at the gas pump, in grocery stores, and when eating out. Households still struggling from the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to be the hardest hit by rising natural gas prices. During the pandemic the number of utility disconnections rose because of unpaid bills. Rising energy costs could cause that trend to continue.
Plan Ahead to Save
There are steps households can take to reduce energy costs and prepare for the winter. One is to ensure that heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems are working properly. An incorrectly-installed HVAC system could increase energy usage by as much as 30%, which would make bills more expensive unnecessarily. Home improvements such as caulking and weatherstripping windows and doors can also save households money on heating.
Energy prices are skyrocketing just as most of the country heads into the winter months. If it’s a particularly cold winter, households across the country will be paying more to stay warm. Weatherproofing homes and ensuring heating systems are maintained can help reduce some of those costs.
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