People are hopeful we will have a warm winter, to relieve the high cost of natural gas and electricity. I expect higher prices for winter home energy, leaving the most vulnerable in bad shape. This is another reason why we opted for more solar. Prepare for higher prices by winterizing your house. This is cost effective and can substantially lower your bills. The Department of Energy has an excellent Weatherize page.
From NPR, we see Why your electricity bill is so high — and why your heating bill might be next.
The National Energy Assistance Directors Association (NEADA) estimates the average family may pay more than $1,200 to heat their home this winter. That’s $175 more than last winter, which is notable considering that nearly 40% of families are already feeling financially strapped, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.NPR
An increase of $175, more than 15%, will hurt families that need a break. Keep in mind too many folks don’t have a $500 emergency fund set aside.
The reasons are varied, starting with Russia’s war on Ukraine, weaponizing natural gas. Russia is using natural gas to blackmail Europe. Europe is refusing. Russia cuts gas to Europe. Europe’s dire need and high natural gas prices are diverting natural gas from the rest of the world to Europe. That’s reason #1. That reason will be with us for a few years.
Reason #2 for Texas is the winterization of the grid. In an effort to make sure last years fiasco does not take place again, power plants have taken steps to make sure natural gas pipelines don’t stop and coal doesn’t freeze. Articles have said the cost might be $1 billion. That will be spread to the existing consumers.
Reason #3, Saudi Arabia is leading OPEC to reduce 2 million barrels of oil a day starting in November. The timing is purposeful. That’s when US elections occur. They want the anti-Republic party to win. This won’t impact home energy prices. It does add other pressure to household budgets. Gas prices have started rising in anticipation.
Natural gas is a large part of California and Texas’ grid energy mix. If the cost goes up for a main fuel, expect electricity prices to go up. As you burn natural gas, you are paying higher prices directly to secure the fossil fuel. That’s why I expect higher electricity prices and higher per unit natural gas prices. For so many under financial stress, this is not good news. We need to equitably help all those that are less fortunate. With higher interest rates and slower economic growth, many are at risk.
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