Energy costs expected to rise 17% this winter, low-income households will be hit hardest, report finds

NEADA requesting $5 billion to help cover the cost of heating

Power lines (AP Photo/Nathan Howard, File) (Nathan Howard, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – A new report from the National Energy Assistance Directors Association (NEADA) says home heating costs for the upcoming winter season are expected to be 17% higher than last year.

The report states that lower-income households will be hit hardest by the additional costs.

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According to Mark Wolfe, Executive Director of NEADA, the rise in home energy costs this winter will put millions of lower-income families at risk of falling behind on their energy bills — leaving them no choice but to make difficult decisions between paying for food, medicine and rent.

In response to this, NEADA officials sent a letter to congress last week asking for a supplemental increase for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

NEADA requested that congressional leadership supplement the program with $5 billion to help cover the cost of heating, in addition to higher cooling costs as a result of record heat over the summer.

Heating bills this winter are expected to reach a 10-year-high of about $1,200 per home.

Estimated winter heating costs in the table below were provided in the report. The numbers assume the same consumption in 2022-2023 as 2021-2022.

Winter Heating SeasonNatural GasElectricityHeating OilPropaneAll Fuels
% Difference, 22-23 vs. 21-2234.3%6.9%12.8%15.2%17.2%
% Difference, 22-23 vs. 20-2166.1%11.5%74.5%57.8%35.3%

NEADA’s report states that estimated costs for heating will increase from $127.9 billion last winter to an estimated $149.9 billion this winter.

This is the second year in a row that homeowners have seen major price increases. Between 2020-2021 and 2021-2022, the cost of home energy increased by more than 35%.

Estimated Winter Heating Costs by Year (National Energy Assistance Directors Association)

CPS Energy sent the following statement about home energy costs this winter:

Heating costs are mainly driven by natural gas prices. The price of natural gas is determined by an open market, which is influenced by domestic and international forces that have caused significant price increases over the last year. In August of this year, natural gas reached its highest price in almost 15 years, since November 2008.

A continuing driver of high natural gas prices is the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As Russia has restricted natural gas to Europe, Europe has sought to replace that supply from the rest of the world. This drastic reduction in global supply has driven up natural gas prices globally. As long as the war continues, we can expect supply constraints to keep natural gas prices elevated through the winter. While CPS Energy cannot control the natural gas market and does not benefit financially from the higher prices, we have in place several tools to help lessen the impact to customers through our hedging activities and our use of prepay natural gas transactions that have saved customers over $85M.


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