Hard to imagine in the context of last month’s 88 inches of snow in Cowlesville, N.Y., but the Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that this winter will be warmer than last. With a warmer winter comes less heating fuel consumption by households, lower prices because of reduced overall demand for heating fuel, and lower energy bills.
This winter millions of Americans reluctantly became acquainted with the term "polar vortex" and the substantial impact it will have on their home heating bills.
Low-income households often face challenges in keeping pace with rising energy costs. A recent study shows that despite federal assistance amounting to $3.4 billion, in the winter of 2011-12 low-income households were left struggling to pay $35.1 billion in energy costs.
Spectacular fall foliage and cooler nights mean many folks are digging out jackets and sweaters from their closets as well as firing up their home heating systems. While temperatures will provide relief from the high electricity bills from the summer cooling season, rising costs for winter heating may make the respite from high utility bills a brief one.
The arrival of summer brings warmer temperatures and more hours of daylight. While some folks are happy to pack away their sweaters and say goodbye to high utility bills resulting from winter heating season, the arrival of summer cooling season heralds a spike in electric bills for others. Expenditures on electricity constitute the largest portion of utility expenditures for older consumers and the cost of running air conditioning in summer is a major contributing factor. Because exposure to extreme temperatures can be especially dangerous for older people, the ability to afford to adequately cool their homes is an important concern.
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