Skyrocketing fossil fuel prices could force American families to choose between heating their home and paying for other necessities this winter. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s annual Winter Fuels Outlook, released yesterday, warns families who heat their homes with methane gas will pay 28% more than last year, and 27% more than last year for those burning heating oil. Utilities are expected to pass those higher costs onto consumers. Those heating their homes with electricity will see costs rise by 10%.
Rising prices, precipitated by the war in Ukraine and the oil and gas industry’s record profits, will hit low-income families and renters — who are more likely to live in inefficient, poorly-insulated homes and who are unable to do anything about it — the hardest. “[Gas] is becoming a more expensive way to heat your home, your water and cook your food,” RMI’s Mike Henchen told E&E, adding high methane gas prices are “making it more cost competitive to heat with electricity.” (Winter Fuels Outlook: E&E $, Bloomberg $, Reuters, CNN, NBC, NPR; Utilities: Energy News Network)