Oct 20, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Winter's burden: The new heating prices for 2023

Illustration of a stack of frozen dollar bills with snowcaps.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Heating costs are going to rise over the next few months, potentially posing an additional burden this winter for low-income families.

Why it matters: Heating bills for Americans will likely pile up during the cold months amid soaring inflation and rising consumer prices. Low-income families may struggle to pay these higher costs and face hard choices as temperatures drop.

  • Locations like New England that rely heavily on heating oil to keep homes warm will especially see the burden of a higher bill.

Heating bill costs for winter 2023

By the numbers: The Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration forecasted that heating costs will spike this year.

  • Heating bills for those with natural gas will jump 28% ($931), according to the EIA.
  • Heating oil costs will rise by about 27% ($2,354).
  • Electricity costs will rise about 10% compared to last year ($1,359).
  • Any homes using propane will see a 5% increase ($1,668).
  • The Energy Department did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Why heating costs are up

The big picture: Energy costs will likely be their highest in 15 years this winter, the National Energy Assistance Directors Association told Axios.

  • Costs are rising due to higher fuel prices and increased demand due to forecasts of a colder winter, the EIA said.
  • The war in Ukraine's impact on natural gas prices will be showing up in household heating bills this winter, too, Axios' Matt Phillips writes.

Heating costs impact for low-income families

It's "going to be a tough year" for low-income families, Mark Wolfe, executive director of NEADA, told Axios.

  • Low-income households will feel a heavy burden as they will fall behind on paying energy bills and have to make choices about rent, heat and food, Wolfe said.
  • "In reality — this is one large income transfer from the bottom of the income population to the top," he told Axios. "Low-income families are becoming impoverished."

Go deeper: The war in Ukraine is showing up in your heating bill

Go deeper