NewsLocal News


Heating bills projected to be higher this winter

Posted at 5:50 PM, Nov 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-02 23:08:14-04

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, people can expect to pay up to 28% more to heat their homes this winter than they did last year.

Experts say high fuel costs, as well as colder temperatures across the country, are to blame for the projected price hikes, and as a result, some locals we spoke to say they are turning to other options.

"We don't run our heat for exactly those reasons, the costs," said Theresa Zieger of Pismo Beach. "We just turn our fireplace on and run the gas."

Others say they're unbothered by those projected increases.

"We haven't had a typical winter for quite a while, it has been kind of warm, but we do turn it on when it gets chilly. We turn it on at night, we turn it on in the morning," said Lori Fry, who lives in Arroyo Grande.

The Energy Information Administration anticipates the average U.S. household will spend more than $900 on gas heat this winter and over $1,300 on electric heat.

The owner of Nate's Plumbing and HVAC says his company has felt the impacts of inflated costs as well.

"A lot of prices and material and equipment have been hiked up and we are having to roll over prices on our estimates and bids to customers." said owner Nathan Witzig.

He adds that the price of one of their water heaters has shot up over $400 in the past two years.

"Right now, we are kind of just playing it by ear, rolling with the prices that are here now and hopefully they do lower down," Witzig said.

While there is no timeframe as to when those prices may subside, on Wednesday, the Biden Administration announced plans to allocate $4.5 billion toward the pre-existing federal Low Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to provide relief to those struggling with high heating costs this winter.

"People who can't afford as much as someone who is better off, especially back East. I have lived back East from time to time and it is definitely more important to have heat in the winter," said Pismo Beach resident Jan Marek.

PG&E also says that along with that additional federal funding, there are other ways people in the community can cut down on costs, including the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Initiative or the Family Electric Rate Assistance Program.

Representatives with LIHEAP say their services include a one-time payment to help you pay for heating or cooling bills. They add that their requirements vary depending on income, household size, and place of residence. You can find a link to their application, as well as PG&E's other benefits programs by clicking here:

The United States Department of Education is also budgeting $9 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act to support households in upgrading their homes to help lower energy bills.