Also, if winter is colder than expected, heating costs can be even higher.
New York — Along with seemingly everything else, get ready to pay a sharply high invoice for heating this winter.
With kerosene, natural gas and other fuel prices skyrocketing globally, the US government said Wednesday that it expects home heating costs to jump 54% compared to last winter.
Almost half of US homes use natural gas for heat and could pay an average of $ 746 this winter, 30% more than it was a year ago. People in the Midwest are particularly pinched, and billing can increase by an estimated 49%, which could be the most expensive winter for natural gas-heated homes since 2008-2009.
Electricity is the second most used heat source in households, accounting for 41% of the country, which could increase by 6% to $ 1,268. For homes that use kerosene, which accounts for 4% of the country, a 43% increase (over $ 500) could be $ 1,734. The sharpest increase can occur in homes that use propane, which accounts for 5% of US households.
This winter is expected to be a little colder than last year nationwide. This means that in addition to paying little fuel, people are more likely to burn more fuel to keep it warm. If winter gets colder than expected, heating costs can be higher than expected and vice versa.
The US Energy Information Administration’s forecast is the latest to remind us of rising inflation across the global economy. Earlier Wednesday, the government released another report showing that US consumer prices in September were 5.4% higher than they were a year ago. This is consistent with the highest inflation rate since 2008. This is because the economic awakening and disruption of the supply chain are pushing up prices for everything from cars to groceries.
Rising prices have hit everyone, and so far most workers’ salary increases have not caught up with inflation. But they are especially hurting low-income households.
“After the beatings of people being involved in a pandemic, it’s like this: what’s next?” Carol Hardison, Chief Executive Officer, said.
She said households coming in for help recently have about twice as many unpaid invoices as they did before the pandemic. They are struggling with more expensive housing, higher medical costs, and sometimes shorter working hours.
“That’s what we know about this pandemic. It hit the same people who were already suffering from wages that couldn’t keep up with their living expenses,” she said.
The family is deeply cut down to achieve their goals. Nearly 22% of Americans cut the cost of basic necessities such as medicine and food to pay for energy in at least one of the last 12 months, according to a September survey by the U.S. Census Bureau. Or I had to see it off.
“This will pose significant challenges to the bottom third of the country,” said Mark Wolff, Managing Director of the National Energy Assistance Board. “We can tell you to keep the heat down and reduce the fire at night, but many low-income households have already done so. Energy was no longer affordable for them.”
Many of those families have just survived the hot summer they faced with high air conditioning rates.
Congress has allocated some money to energy support programs for low-income households, but directors of these programs are currently watching for purchasing power to decline as fuel costs continue to rise, Wolff said. rice field.
The biggest reason for the soaring heating costs this winter is the recent soaring prices of energy products after falling to a few years’ lows in 2020. Demand grew faster than production as the economy regained its vitality after the coronavirus shut down.
For example, US natural gas has risen to its highest price since 2014, up about 90% compared to last year. Meanwhile, the wholesale price of kerosene has more than doubled in the last 12 months.
Another reason for the rise is how global the fuel market has become. In Europe, strong demand and limited supply have boosted natural gas prices by more than 350% this year. As a result, some of the natural gas produced in the United States is heading for ships destined for other countries, putting upward pressure on domestic prices.
According to Barclays analyst Amalpret Singh, the amount of natural gas in storage is relatively low. This means less cushioning for the winter heating season.
Kerosene prices, on the other hand, are closely tied to crude oil prices, which rose more than 60% this year. Homes affected by these increases are primarily in the northeast, with kerosene-based homes declining from 27% to 18% in the last decade.
AP writer David Sharp contributed from Portland, Maine.
54% increase in heating costs for some US homes projected this winter
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