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Another Reason to Move to Fla.? Home Heating Prices

The usual move-to-Fla. reasons – sun, beaches and no income tax – omit one item: home-heating costs. A harsh NE winter this year could push natural gas prices 50% higher.

NEW YORK – Nearly half of U.S. households who heat their homes with natural gas can expect higher bills this winter – an average of 30% higher compared to last year, the Energy Information Administration warns.

It could be even higher: If the winter is 10% colder than average, homeowners can expect heating bills that top 50% compared to last year. But even if the winter is 10% warmer than average, heating bills are still expected to be 22% higher year-to-year.

Natural gas home-heating bills are expected to average $746 from Oct. 1 to March 31 compared to $573 during the same period a year ago, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“We are very concerned about the affordability of heat this winter for all customers, but in particular those who struggle every day to afford their utility services,” says Karen Lusson, a staff attorney for the National Consumer Law Center.

Homeowners may want to take some steps before winter, with “Move to Florida” one of the options. If they choose to stay, however, they should make sure heating systems operate correctly and efficiently. Improper installation of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems can lead to 30% higher energy use, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Also, homeowners may want to seek affordable options like “door pillows” to plug spaces under the doors and take steps to weatherize their homes to reduce expenses.

Source: “A Winter of Giant Gas Bills Is Coming. Are You Ready?” The Wall Street Journal (Oct. 14, 2021) [Log-in required.]

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