Heating bills are expected to jump this winter. Here’s how to save money

A worried woman wrapped in a blanket sitting by the window.

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Don’t let your heating bill burn a hole in your bank account.


the main points

  • This winter is expected to be colder than usual in most parts of the country.
  • The cost of fuel to heat homes may rise as supply is expected to decline.
  • Taking steps like adjusting your thermostat and budgeting for higher costs can help keep your heating bills in check.

As a Californian now living in the Midwest, it’s fair to say that I am very Aware of the approaching cold weather months. As beautiful as fall can be, no amount of photos of foliage watching on camera roll can soften the blow when the temperatures drop and suddenly my face hurts when I go outside. And unfortunately, this is not the only thing that can hurt the winter.

Many people, especially those who live in cooler climates, see their utility bills rise in the winter because they turn up the heat in response to the temperatures outside. And this year’s bills may be higher than usual, thanks to a combination of factors.

Why heating costs may increase

Experts expect a relatively cooler winter across much of the United States this year. This will cause many households to use fuel – whether it’s natural gas, electricity, or another source – to keep their homes comfortable all season long.

At the same time, the cost of these fuels, especially natural gas, is expected to rise. This is partly due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which disrupted a major source of natural gas production in the world. Another reason is that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) recently released its forecast for oil demand in the fourth quarter of the year. It expects demand to decline thanks to slowing economic growth, and has announced an expectation of production cuts. According to basic economic theory, a decrease in the supply of something generally leads to an increase in prices.

This combination of high fuel prices and a cold winter points to a projected 28% hike on many Americans’ heating bills. And while inflation It is already wreaking havoc on the finances of many people, and it can be a real blow. While there may be no way to completely avoid this growth, there are a few factors you can control to remove some of the sting.

Tips for dealing with high heating bills

I had a roommate who wore shorts and a tank top around the apartment and turned the heat up to 80 degrees because it “was cold”. Don’t be like her. While we probably all have a preference for the most comfortable temperature when we’re at home, see if you can lower your thermostat by a few degrees. You can start decreasing it gradually every week until you get used to the change. If you want your house temperature to be 73 degrees, try to go as low as 68 degrees. Experts say you can cut about 1% off your heating bill for every degree you lower your thermostat, so this represents a 5% reduction on your heating bill.

Layered clothing is your friend in the winter, so wear a fuzzy jacket and socks if you’re feeling cold, rather than turning up the heat. Throw in some jacks or jacks while you’re at it. Getting your blood pumping quickly can take you from cold to relief with little effort — and no cost.

Return to your thermostat. If you have a programmable device, consider setting a schedule where the temperature is lower while you are outside and while you sleep. Reducing the hours you keep your home at a maximum temperature should make a noticeable impact on your heating bill. Or if you work from home, do what I do: keep the thermostat set during the day, and use a heater for the room you spend the most time in. I find that there is no need to heat the whole house for the eight hours I work if I spend 90% of it in my office. I might turn on the space heater for a few minutes every hour, and things stay warm enough with the door closed.

Each of these tips will help, but it’s unlikely that you’ll avoid high heating bills entirely this winter. This makes it more important than usual Budget early to increase costs. Make sure you have enough in your emergency savings To cover higher-than-normal bills, and see if there are places you can cut back over the next few months. Perhaps you could invite friends over for a meal instead of going to restaurants often. Or you can pause your online shopping habit for a little while if there aren’t any essential items you need to purchase. You can even have great success and try a a week not spent To see how much you can save.

Don’t let winter bills lead to the winter blues

Winter can be a beautiful season with lots of outdoor fun and indoor comfort, but it can also be costly. Take steps now to prepare for what may be a more expensive winter than usual Bank account He can be in great shape like snowmen when the temperatures drop.

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