Inflation has affected the price of just about everything, and experts say the cost of heating a home is going to rise dramatically this winter.
68-year-old Annmarie Taylor-Alleyne lives on a fixed income in Boston and is already struggling with rising food and rent prices. Now she’s learning her energy bill is going up 64% in November.
The utility company says with fuel costs rising, it’s forced to charge customers more.
“A lot of things that I have to sit back and think about, you know, what I’m going to do in order to survive,” says Taylor-Alleyne.
And millions of other Americans could be doing the same.
A new report from the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association says power and heating bills will rise dramatically in the coming months.
The group says customers who use propane gas to heat their home will likely pay an average of 57.8% more this winter compared to 2020. Natural gas bills could go up 66.1% and fuel oil could jump 74.5%.
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“For many Americans the cost of home heating will become unaffordable this winter. What we’re concerned about is that those prices could go higher if, in fact, it’s a colder winter,” says NEADA Executive Director Mark Wolfe.
The NEADA is asking Congress to approve billions of dollars in heating assistance for low-income families. Taylor-Alleyne receives help with utility bills from a local non-profit called the Action for Boston Community Development.
“We’ve seen a rise in support requests for food, for rental assistance, and obviously utility costs,” says Sharon Scott-Chandler, Action for Boston Community Development CEO.
But Taylor-Alleyne says the assistance only goes so far and she’s looking for other ways to save money.
“Right now, I think have I have to cut off my cable,” says Taylor-Alleyne. She also plans to use the lights sparingly and keep the thermostat low to help make ends meet.