SOUTHFIELD, Michigan (FOX 2) – As experts warn heating bills will skyrocket this winter due to inflation, analysis shows the average homeowner will spend an extra $ 43 per month to heat their home.
With the global price of fuel oil, natural gas and other fuels soaring, the U.S. government said on Wednesday it expects households to see their heating bills increase by 54% from winter. latest.
The largest increases are likely for homes that use propane, which only make up 5% of U.S. households, but others are also likely to experience large increases.
Homes that use natural gas, which make up nearly half of all U.S. households, could spend $ 746 this winter, 30% more than a year ago. This could make them the highest heating bills this winter since winter 2008-2009.
According to DTE Vice Chairman Dan Brudzynski, the force behind the surge in natural gas prices is linked to the pandemic as the economy rebounds.
“There are a lot of issues with the supply chain and a lot of it comes from the pandemic,” Brudzynski said.
In 2020, Brudzynski said demand had dropped significantly and prices collapsed. But as the world begins to emerge from the pandemic, the imbalance created last year is pushing up the prices of most items. Including natural gas.
“Now that demand is increasing and the economy is starting to recover, production and supply are rushing to catch up with demand, so you get an imbalance between supply and demand,” Brudzynski said. “Unfortunately, what we have seen is that in the last few months, natural gas prices have almost doubled.”
This imbalance will correct over time, but as this winter approaches, many will see their heating bills higher.
But according to DTE, the majority of its customers will not see a price increase. This is because the energy company said it was buying and storing gas while it was at a lower rate.
“90% of our supply is already tied up at prices long before this doubling in price increases,” said Dan Brudzynski, vice president of DTE.
If you are seeing an increase in your energy bills, there are several things you can do to save money.
“Check your furnace filter. It will allow your furnace to run more efficiently,” Brudzynski said. “If you have a programmable thermostat, use it. It will save you money. It can save a few hundred dollars during the winter.”
You can also check doors and windows for drafts and use weatherstripping to seal off drafty areas.
If a Michigan resident thinks they are having trouble paying their heating bill, you should contact your supplier to find out what payment plans they offer. There is also help from other resources, notably the Chaleur et Chaleur Fund, Centraide and the Salvation Army.