Home Heating Bills Are Sky High — Here’s Where to Get Help


It may cost more to heat your home this winter, but some states are increasing assistance programs to help people pay their bills.

The Association of National Energy Assistance Directors (NEADA) estimates that the average household can expect to pay about 17% more than last winter on their heating bill. The bump will bring the average cost to heat a home during October through March from $1,031 to $1,208.

Home heating costs can vary widely depending on where you live and how your home is heated, as well as how high you set the thermostat. But heating costs are up overall this year.

NEADA estimates the average cost to heat a home with natural gas has jumped nearly 28% this year, from $724 to $931. It predicts the average cost of heating a home with heating oil will jump from $1,859 last year to $2,354 this year – an increase of about 27%. Electric heating costs are expected to rise by about 10%, while propane heating costs are expected to increase by about 5%.

The reason for the big rise is energy costs, which have been rising thanks to higher demand and supply constraints caused by the war in Ukraine, experts say.

While there are many ways to keep your heating bills low—such as turning off the thermostat at night, changing furnace filters, and sealing air leaks—you may also qualify for government financial assistance.

Help with home heating bills

You may qualify for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which is funded by the federal government and administered by the states. It provides cash assistance for utility bills and weather charges, and some states are also expanding resources for residents.

Here are a few examples of state programs designed to help skyrocket heating bills this winter. (This is not an exhaustive list. If you don’t live in one of the states below, check the programs available in your state to see if you qualify for assistance.)

Connecticut

State officials in Connecticut are developing a plan to give residents a $10 credit per month toward their utility bill from January through April, as well as additional discounts for low-income households. Electricity rates are projected to double in Connecticut on January 1.

Minnesota

The Minnesota Energy Assistance Program recently increased the maximum payment an eligible household can receive to help with fuel delivery costs this winter from $600 to $1,500.

New Hampshire

In September, New Hampshire passed legislation to create a $42 million energy assistance program designed to send up to $650 in cash to eligible residents to help offset the burden of high energy costs. That New Hampshire Bulletin reports that the program is on track to be up and running by the end of the year.

Rhode Island

Last month, Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee announced an additional $1.5 million to reduce electricity bills for eligible residents, in addition to the $5.3 million already earmarked for this purpose this fall. McKee says the program will save Rhode Island customers about $190 each this winter.

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