There was a surge in the supply cost of the energy commodity, which led to higher than average electric bills for families last winter. This year won't be much different according to some experts.
The National Energy Assistance Directors Association NEADA reported that the average cost to heat a home would increase by 17.2% since last winter, ranging from $1,025 to $1,202, and families who are already dealing with increased costs due to inflation. Heating oil costs will go up an estimated 54% to $1,876, while natural gas costs may increase 24% to $709, according to the NEADA.
The total cost of home heating, including natural gas, electricity, heating oil, and propane, is estimated to be from $127.9 billion to $149.9 billion this year.
Nick Loris, C 3 Solutions vice president of public policy, told FOX Business that it was going to put a squeeze on already tight family budgets.
Prices are up across the board, whether it's oil, natural gas or electric, according to Loris. More money dedicated to paying for heat means fewer resources are essential for human well-being, such as food or healthcare.
He said that the impact will be regressive, hurting the poor the most because they spend a higher percentage of their budget on energy costs.
Consolidated Edison Inc., which provides energy for roughly 10 million people in Westchester County, is already issuing tips for how consumers can save well ahead of the winter season.
The company said in a recent notice that customers are encouraged to take action now that they can manage costs this winter, as market prices for electricity and natural gas are expected to be higher.
The utility company said that the bill's increases are due to increases in the market cost of natural gas, which is volatile and also affects electric market costs. Con Ed said local electric and gas companies and customers across the Northeast are facing similar situations. For Con Ed, the average residential natural gas heating customer that uses 165 therms per month should expect to pay $460 a month from November through March 2023, which is a 32% increase on average compared to a year ago. Con Ed said that supply costs would account for the marjory of that increase, about $90, while delivery charges are estimated to account for $22.
Con Edison buys natural gas and electricity on the wholesale markets, and uses a variety of strategies to stabilize pricing for customers, according to Con Ed in a statement. The company does not make a profit on supply costs because of the fact that it does not set supply costs. Higher natural gas prices will affect electricity costs because power generation plants in the region run mostly on natural gas, the company said.
According to the projections, a New York City residential customer using 300 kilowatt-hours a month can expect to dole out $116, a 22% increase over last year.
The utility issued a number of tips, such as replacing conventional light bulbs with LED bulbs or having a qualified contractor clean and inspect heating systems, to help customers save during the uncertain economic conditions. It is allowing customers to make payment plans to help lessen the financial burden.