Winter heating bills will go up this year for most homeowners, regardless of their fuel source or how much they use. The Energy Information Administration estimates that households will spend an average of $1,360 this winter to heat their homes.
Most of the increases are coming from natural gas prices, which have soared by a quarter since late 2018. The EIA says that if consumers continue using the same amount of gas they used last year, they’ll pay $86 more in winter heating costs this season.
The increase in gas costs will not impact every part of the country equally, but there are still some places where the price hikes will be particularly pronounced. To identify the states with the highest expected percentage increases in heating costs, MoneyGeek looked at data from the EIA’s Residential Energy Consumption Survey and estimated average residential prices and natural gas consumption figures.
Homeowners in Alaska will be paying the most for their natural gas this winter, according to MoneyGeek’s calculations. The state’s average monthly natural gas bill will be $291, more than double the national average.
New Yorkers can get help with their heating bills through the state’s Home Energy Assistance Program, or HEAP. This program is designed to help income-eligible New Yorkers who are struggling to afford their home heating costs.
For some families, it’s the difference between being able to stay warm this winter and going without heat entirely. The state’s Energy and Utilities Department said that a family of four with an income of less than $63,000 can apply for help to offset their costs.
Whether you’re heating your home with natural gas, electricity or a combination of the two, it’s important to understand what factors will cause prices to go up and how you can cut costs. There are a number of ways to do this, such as by taking advantage of energy efficiency incentives and weatherizing your home.
Electricity is the most expensive form of power, so if you’re relying on it to heat your home this winter, you may want to consider switching to natural gas or propane, which are less costly. It’s also worth checking into energy efficient heating options for your home, like a furnace with a high SEER rating or an air conditioning system with a high-efficiency filter.
If you’re still using oil, now is a great time to look into the conversion process. Read Why is heating oil so expensive to learn more about the ins and outs of this incredibly expensive method of home heat.
Amid an escalating global trade war and slowing production of gas from the Gulf of Mexico, prices for all three major sources of home heating have been rising. This is especially true in New England, where more than five million homes rely on heating oil to keep them warm.
With winter heating bills set to rise, New York lawmakers are calling for federal aid to help lighten the burden on local residents. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says he wants to add $1 billion in federal aid this year to help families pay their bills.