Winter heating bills will be up 17% in 2022 vs. 2021 according to one national source. And you could pay an even higher price if you heat using natural gas. In this article we discuss natural gas price trends and the winter weather forecast, plus how to keep your heating bill low.
For Winter 2023-2024, the EIA expects that consumers will pay 21% less per unit of natural gas vs. 2022. NEADA projects heating costs will be 7% less than last year. If you live in a state where natural gas is deregulated, like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan or Georgia, you can shop to get the lowest rate for your natural gas plan.
Natural Gas Prices Continue Upward Trend
According to National Energy Assistance Directors Association (NEADA), consumers on average will pay 17% more in 2022-2023 than they did in the winter of 2021-2022. That’s based on the combined costs of all heating types: gas, electricity, heating oil, propane and wood.
But almost half the homes in the U.S. heat their houses with natural gas, according to U.S. Census data.
And NEADA estimates that winter natural gas heating costs will be up 34% this year.
Why are natural gas prices so much higher this winter? Supply and demand.
Natural gas previously was a domestic market, produced and consumed within the U.S.
With the increase of liquified natural gas (LNG) refining, U.S. natural gas producers can sell their product to a global market.
Russia’s war in Ukraine has disrupted European gas markets, increasing global demand for U.S. natural gas.
The result has been higher natural gas prices in the U.S. and Europe.
Winter Weather Outlook for 2022-2023
In addition to higher natural gas prices, we’re also looking at a cold winter for 2022-2023 across the central part of the country.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts that we will have a La Nina winter for the third winter season in a row. During a La Nina winter, northern states are expected to be colder and wetter than normal, while southern states will be warmer and dryer than normal.
The good news? That means natural gas heating costs in Georgia and other southern states could be more moderate this winter.
How to Fight Winter Heating Bill Inflation
Natural gas prices are on the rise and the weather is unknown for this season, but you can still fight back against heating bill inflation.
Here are 4 ways to fight inflation in your winter heating costs:
- If you live in a state where natural gas is deregulated, like Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania or Michigan, lock in a fixed rate natural gas plan. This can help protect you against rising prices.
- Perform a DIY home energy audit to find and fix places where heat is leaking out of your home.
- Follow recommended thermostat settings for winter. During the day, keep the thermostat between 65° and 68°. When you are away, drop the thermostat to 60°. And at night, keep the setting around 65°.
- Dress for the outside weather inside. If it’s cold out, wear sweaters, socks and shoes inside to stay warm.
With these tips and conscious efforts to conserve energy at home, you can keep your winter heating bill in check this season.