No matter what method you use, get ready to pay more for your heating bills. Prices of oil, natural gas, and other fuels are skyrocketing all over the world.
This winter, the US government wants you to expect to see a jump of as much as 54% in your heating bills compared to last winter.
Natural Gas Prices Are Soaring
Along with everything else for sale in the US, brace yourself for more expensive heating bills this winter. Almost 1 in every 2 homes in America use natural gas for heating.
Due to the spiraling cost of natural gas worldwide, US households could pay as much as $746 for heating bills this winter. This is 30% more compared to last winter.
For Midwest residents, the price could even come up higher, as they can face up to 50% higher bills. If this continues, Americans should brace for the most expensive winter for natural gas users since 2008.
Meanwhile, around 41% of American families use electricity to heat their homes. These households will also see a jump in electricity bills. However, the increase is a bit more modest at 6%, running up heating costs to $1,268.
In contrast, homes that use heating oil (4% of US homes) can expect up to 43% in heating bill increases. Meanwhile, propane-using homes should also brace for more expensive heating bills.
Winter is Coming, and It’s Gonna Be Colder
Confounding the situation is the fact that meteorologists expect a colder winter this year. More Americans will likely burn more fuel to stay warm, which means even bigger heating bills. This means US households will be at the mercy of the elements. A longer, colder winter can lead to even higher expenses.
Another factor is the current high inflation rates ripping through the country. The US Energy Information Administration’s advisory on higher heating bills this winter is proof.
In addition, the federal government released an inflation update that said that prices were 5.4% higher compared to a year ago.
This is the highest inflation rate the country has faced since 2008. Unfortunately, pay raises for workers weren't able to keep up with rising prices.
Families Already Struggling WIth The Pandemic
Carol Hardison is the CEO of the Crisis Assistance Ministry. The organization helps people in Charlotte, North Carolina who face financial hardship.“After the beating that people have taken in the pandemic, it’s like: What’s next?” she said.
Hardison recounted households seeking help for unpaid bills that are roughly double than last year’s bills. “It’s what we know about this pandemic: It’s hit the same people that were already struggling with wages not keeping up with the cost of living,” she said.
According to the US Census Bureau, many American families are now resorting to budget cuts. The agency reported that around 22% of Americans reduced or withheld expenses for basic necessities such as medicine or food.
The savings they generated went to pay an energy bill in at least one of the last 12 months. According to Mark Wolfe, executive director of the National Energy Assistance Directors' Association, it’s about to get harder for some families.
“This is going to create significant hardship for people in the bottom third of the country. You can tell them to cut back and try to turn down the heat at night, but many low-income families already do that.
The energy was already unaffordable to them,” he said. Many of those families bracing for higher heating bills just came from a hot summer where they paid higher cooling bills.
Watch the WKBW TV news report saying that Americans should expect their heating bill to increase 43% this winter:
What do you think of the incoming winter season? Should American families prepare for a colder winter and save up for spiking energy and heating bills?
Tell us what you think about higher heating costs. Share your comments below.
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