Heating Bills are the Next Cost to Rise Significantly in New York City

Heating Bills are the Next Cost to Rise Significantly in New York City

     As prices continue to rise globally on all consumer goods, as fall turns into winter, New Yorkers should prepare to pay more to heat their homes.

     Like so many other goods that have increased sharply in price because of shipping delays and inflation, the price of natural gas in the United States has climbed 90% compared to prices last year.

     In fact, the price of natural gas is now the highest it has been since 2014 and is up roughly 90% over the last year.

     In addition, in the last year, the wholesale price of heating oil has more than doubled.  As the prices for heating oil, natural gas, and other fuels surge worldwide, New Yorkers can expect to see heating bills that are 54% higher than last winter, the US government said.

     When temperatures drop, and weather experts forecast a slightly colder winter than last year, residents who use natural gas heat to heat their homes could pay an average of $746, which is 30% higher than just last winter. New Yorkers who heat their homes with electricity should see only a 6% increase in their heating bills: to $1,268.

     The increased heating bills are only one element of rising prices, which were 5.4% higher for American consumers in September, than prices were a year ago, the US Energy Information Administration reported. The higher prices are affecting all New Yorkers: with households with lower incomes, of course, particularly struggling.

     To make ends meet, families are having to make difficult budgeting trade-offs. For instance, the US Census Bureau reported last month that nearly 22% of Americans had to reduce or forego expenses to pay for basic necessities, such as medicine or food, to pay energy bills in at least one of the last 12 months, especially after a hot summer, when most residents regularly used air-conditioning.

     “This is going to create significant hardship for people in the bottom third of the country,” said Mark Wolfe, executive director of the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association. “You can tell them to cut back and try to turn down the heat at night, but many low-income families already do that. Energy was already unaffordable to them."

     The US Congress usually directs funds to energy assistance programs for low-income households, however, as fuel costs keep climbing, fewer New Yorkers will benefit, Wolfe said.

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