With an arctic cold front impacting much of the country this week, many Americans are already thinking about their heating bills weeks before the official start of winter. The arrival of bitter cold temperatures is only making the jobs of people like Sam Impink even more challenging as heating costs continue to rise.
“We’re just trying to keep people’s power on,” Impink said.
Impink is with the Field Fund of Maryland, a nonprofit that works to help lower-income Americans keep their heat and electricity on.
“Historically, October has been a really busy month, you start to get a sense of the cold weather coming,” she added.
Companies like National Grid are warning electric costs could rise by as much as 64 percent this winter as crude oil prices continue to fluctuate.
That is unwanted news for Americans already struggling to pay their electric bills. Many fuel assistance programs are seeing people come in with bills upwards of $4,000, a result of back payments due to moratoriums put in place during COVID, when energy companies couldn’t disconnect customers for non-payment. But they were still getting charged.
“When you have a $3,000 bill, a client has to make a payment and they struggle,” Impink noted.
As seasons change experts have some tips to consider to help save on energy costs:
- Setting your thermostat to 65 degrees
- Layering up when you’re at home
- Even replacing old doors and windows that let out heat
- Turning your bathroom fan off for instance after showering to keep heat in
- Checking the insulation in your attic during the fall
- Buying drapes that add an extra layer of window insulation
Michael Stivala is the CEO of Suburban Propane. They deliver heating propane to 40 states nationwide. He says there’s plenty of supply right now but the weather will ultimately determine how much Americans end up paying to heat their homes this winter.
“We all know we can’t control Mother Nature and that has a significant impact,” Stivala said.