NEW YORK STATE (WENY) – Home heating costs have reached the highest level in more than 10 years. Many families are on a squeezed household budget struggling with many rising costs of groceries, rent, and other essentials, now add home heating to that.
Soaring home heating costs have reached the highest level in more than 10 years. NYSEG expects customers to pay nearly 14% more a month for electricity and 30% more for gas compared to the same time last year.
“They will pay approximately $12 more per month for their electricity for the December to March time frame. And for natural gas, they can expect to pay $47 more a month,” Veronica Dasher, Regional Manager for Governmental and Community Relations for NYSEG said.
These soaring prices for gas and electricity are caused by the rise in energy costs. Something Dasher says NYSEG does not control. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports energy rose 19.8 percent over the past 12 months.
“This is due to the supply market, and because of constraints with supply chain and global events. We are seeing an increase in those costs. That has an effect on us nationwide and globally, Dasher said.
It’s affecting millions of families. Hundreds already are behind on their utility bills.
“We really don’t want to put people in a difficult spot. We understand that rising energy costs create more stress on households,” Dasher said.
NYSEG offers a number of options to help customers. One way is through NYSEG budget billing. Budget billing looks at a customer’s previous bills and the usage of the housing unit. It provides a projected average that is the same over 12 months. Every three months NYSEG will review that budget and look at the customer’s usage and adjust it accordingly so that customers know what to expect. The other option if a customer is unable to pay their utility bill is a federal grant program called HEAP.
“If customers are unable to pay their bill or if there are in an emergency there are options to pay their bill such as HEAP which is a home energy assistance program. It helps income-eligible households pay for their energy bills, repairs, and weather relations. They can also work with us to set up a payment plan,” Dasher said.
Customers do have options for supply. There are energy supply companies, where customers can go, to get their energy supply from other than NYSEG. Customers can compare other company rates.
NYSEG also offers instant rebates on energy-saving products on their marketplace website NYSEG Smart Solutions. Products such as LED light bulbs are being sold for $2.65 to $7.95 for a four-pack right now. The google nest thermostat or the wifi controlled thermostat is being sold at $129.99 with an instant rebate it’s $54.99. These items will help manage energy savings, you will be able to control your thermostat wirelessly.