HARTFORD, Conn. — Get ready to open your wallet even wider. Energy experts are forecasting record home heating prices this winter, with Connecticut in the bullseye for the biggest increase.
“I just have to come up with extra money to heat my home,” said Enrique Rivera of New Haven. It’s easier said than done. He works 60 hours a week to make ends meet. “Maybe about $200 more this year than last year at this time. I don’t know how we are going to do it,” added Enrique.
He’s not alone. All Connecticut residents will be paying more regardless of whether you heat with oil or natural gas.
RELATED: Heat this winter to cost some families thousands more, more state funding for low income families available
“There is no running away from high prices,” said Chris Herb, the President of the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association.
With the world cut off from Russian energy due to the war in Ukraine, the U.S. is in a bidding war with Europe for oil. Combine that with OPEC’s profit-driven decision to cut oil production and you’ve got a powder keg.
“Our response to it is that the federal government should return to our energy independence so OPEC doesn’t have that type of control,” said Herb.
Tracey Energy Services in New Haven has been a family-owned and operated business for 91 years.
“We have never gone over $5 a gallon before, ever. I’ve been here 37 years and I haven’t seen pricing like this ever. It’s a little concerning,” Owner Ralph Carlo said.
Carlo said they’re trying to help their customers without sinking their own business.
“We do budget payment planning,” said Carlo. “What we’ve been telling our customers is to use as little oil as possible. Every gallon of oil you save is money in your pocket.”
That means getting your heating system serviced, checking your home for drafts and sealing them up, and setting your thermostat as low as comfortably possible.
Conservatively, expect to pay about 20% more to heat your home.
“I don’t even know how we are going to do it but we just have to keep working. That’s it,” said Rivera.
Connecticut did just get $21 million from the feds to help low-income families pay their heating bills. Those funds are administered through your local community action agency.
For resources on how you can get energy assistance visit benefits.gov or ct.gov.
Matt Caron is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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