According to a recently published Missouri Department of Natural Resources government web site press release, many Missouri families will see a large spike in their winter heating bills this year. Residents should expect to spend anywhere from $78 to $221 more. This news came recently after the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Energy Center released their bi-weekly Energy Bulletin.
The cost of both natural gas and propane will be rising this winter. Around 57 percent of households use natural gas to heat their homes while 13 percent use propane. Both these costs are expected to rise according to the Energy Bulletin said, citing the Winter Fuels Outlook released on October 9th by the Energy Information Administration.
Even though propane and natural gas heat a large number of homes, the prices between the two are significantly different. Those who use natural gas will see a $78 spike, while those who use propane will see a $221 spike. These monetary amounts are simply averages at the moment and may increase or decrease based on new findings of the Department of Natural Resources.
The increases in prices are influenced and affected by several different factors. Extremely cold weather or climate conditions, market size, and the size and energy efficiency of different houses could all affect how much Missouri homeowners will be paying for heating this winter.
Back on October 10th, natural gas futures closed at exactly $7.01 per MMBtu, an increase of $1.20, or exactly 21 percent, in the past month of September and October. These numbers are huge and could continue to rise.
A survey from the Energy Center’s says that the average retail price for residential and home heating propane was exactly $1.85 per gallon on Tuesday.
The increase thus far is exactly 15.1 cents from last month of September and 23 cents, or 14 percent, higher than the $1.62 per gallon price at this time last year in October of 2006. All years so far have seen increases, but a spike like this is scary enough, especially for some homeowners.
“The numbers aren’t surprising,” said St. Louis resident Camryn Ellenstein. “Winter heating bills were already high last year and now residents are bracing for higher prices this year. To try to cut the costs, we had better installation installed in our attic and in some of our walls. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it really helps. Natural heating also works well. Anyone who has a fireplace should use it to the fullest extent. You can also make sure that your furnace is working properly or have an energy efficient one installed as soon as possible. A new furnace is a big investment but when heating bills are high the investment adds up quickly in the winter.”
Missouri Department of Natural Resources. “Winter Heating Costs Expected to Rise for Natural Gas, Propane Users.” www.dnr.mo.gov/newsrel/nr07_467.htm