Get ready to pay sharply higher bills for heating this winter, along with seemingly everything else.
With prices surging worldwide for heating oil, natural gas and other fuels, the U.S. government said Wednesday it expects households to see their heating bills jump as much as 54% compared to last winter.
The sharpest increases are likely for homes that use propane, which account for only 5% of U.S. households, but others are also likely to see big increases.
Homes that use natural gas, which make up nearly half of all U.S. households, may spend $746 this winter, 30% more than a year ago. That could make this winter’s heating bills the highest for them since the winter of 2008-2009.
The second-most typical heating source for homes is electricity, making up 41% of the country, and those households could see a more modest 6% increase to $1,268.
Homes using heating oil, which make up 4% of the country, could see a 43% increase — more than $500 — to $1,734.
This winter is forecast to be slightly colder across the country than last year. That means people will likely be burning even more fuel to keep warm, on top of paying more for each bit of it.
If the winter ends up being even colder than forecast, heating bills could be higher than estimated, and vice-versa.
The forecast from the U.S. Energy Information Administration is the latest reminder of the higher inflation ripping across the global economy. Earlier Wednesday, the government released a separate report showing that prices were 5.4% higher for U.S. consumers in September than a year ago.
That’s the hottest inflation since 2008, as a reawakening economy and snarled supply chains push up prices for everything from cars to groceries.
If you or someone you know is in need of heating assistance in the DMV, here are a list of resources: