Home energy prices are soaring as demand for oil and natural gas continues to outpace supply. Russia’s war in Ukraine is also putting upward pressure on the prices of heating oil and gas.
From February to March, home heating prices nationwide jumped 26 percent, to $4.92 per gallon. Natural gas prices have come down in recent days but are still up 87.8 percent year over year. Americans are shelling out more money to heat their homes, just as they are paying more for gasoline and a bevy of consumer products. At 7.9 percent, inflation is at a 40-year high, and energy costs are up 25.6 percent year over year, according to the Consumer Price Index for February.
“Over the past 18 months natural gas prices have risen more than 500 percent,” says Lauren Urbanek, senior energy policy advocate at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “Fossil fuels are really susceptible to price increases. That trickles down, of course, to the consumer, making people who heat their homes with natural gas and fossil fuels very susceptible to higher heating prices.”
Even with the country entering spring and, eventually, warmer weather, high home energy prices will persist for several more weeks, particularly for residents of the Northeast, which has the vast majority of heating oil customers. For budget-conscious homeowners, the good news is that there are ways to save, including the following.
Reduce your consumption
A surefire way to lower your home energy bill is to reduce your consumption. According to Energy Star, you’ll save 10 percent on your energy consumption for every 10 degrees you lower the temperature in your home. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can set it to do that automatically when you’re at work or asleep.