Americans will pay more money to heat their homes this winter
Americans are about to see the biggest increase in their home heating bills in more than 10 years, and it's not just because of inflation. A new report from
Americans are about to see the biggest increase in their home heating bills in more than 10 years, and it's not just because of inflation.
A new report from the National Energy Assistance Directors Association (NEADA), which represents the state directors of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), projects a 17.2% jump in average home heating costs this winter compared to last year, and a 42% jump in the cost of household electricity compared to the winter just before the pandemic hit.
The latest increase is the result of sky-high summer temperatures that sent the price of natural gas soaring as some customers cranked up their air conditioners to cool their homes, according to NEADA executive director Mark Wolfe. That spike in demand pushed prices higher, and was exacerbated by the retirement of coal-fired and nuclear plants, in favor of electric generators.
Meanwhile, natural gas production has been slow to come back online after waves of shutdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Today, the price of natural gas is at levels not seen in more than a decade. NEADA estimates that 91% of Americans' heating and cooling costs are tied to the price of natural gas, whether directly or as the primary energy source used to create electricity.