Expect a higher heating bill this winter

Oct 22, 2012

A return to normal winter weather means New Yorkers can expect to see a rise in their heating bills. Those using natural gas to heat their homes will see higher bills despite a 12 percent drop in pricing.

Insights into how New York state is going to heat itself this winter were revealed during a hearing at the state’s Public Service Commission last week.

Last year’s winter was up to 25 percent warmer than usual and with a return to normal temperatures predicted this year, natural gas heating bills are forecast to rise by $80 over the five-month winter period.

About half of the households in New York state use natural gas for heating. The commission heard that access to gas continues to improve, but risk factors like high global oil prices and an increase in gas-fired generation could still impact pricing.

John Sano of the office of Electric, Gas and Water told the commission that the source of natural gas for New York is changing, but suppliers will have plenty to last the winter.

“Net imports of Canadian gas are expected to continue to decline. In addition, several pipelines have projects to flow gas north from the Marcellus region into Canada,” Sano said. “Historically we have imported gas from Canada, but it appears that is about to change.”

Customers using heating oil for their homes are now paying three times more for their fuel.