Energy Bills Expected to Rise in Winter

Coming off a summer that brought higher cooling bills, many families are now bracing for increased costs from winter heating. According to the National Energy Assistance Directors Association (NEADA), the cost of cooling for the average family increased from $450 to $600 this summer. NEADA predicts the average family will pay $1,202 to heat their homes this winter, an increase of 17% from last year. Those who heat with natural gas can expect a 34% increase.

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According to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest Short-Term Energy Outlook, the residential price of electricity will average 14.8 cents per kilowatt hour this year, up 7.5% from 2021. Higher retail prices “reflect an increase in wholesale power prices driven by rising natural gas prices,” the report said.
Natural gas prices, meanwhile, will hit the highest level in 14 years this winter as global consumption remains high and inventories stay low, according to the EIA. The natural gas spot price will reach a monthly average of $9 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) this quarter—the highest inflation-adjusted monthly average since 2008. Prices are expected to drop to $6/MMBtu next year amid increased production.
Results of a recent Gallup poll found 56% of Americans now say inflation is a severe or moderate financial hardship that’s threatening their ability to keep up their current standard of living. That’s up from 49% in January and 45% last November. While the price at the pump has eased, inflation is still up 8.3% year-to-year.
Gallup said the sharpest increase in self-reported hardship is coming from middle-and upper-income households. To combat inflation, those polled said they are cutting back on spending, vacationing less, and driving less to save money.
Source: WECA