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Home heating bills expected to increase this winter

According to experts, supply and demand issues are what's driving prices up.

CROMWELL, Conn. — No matter how you heat your home, most people can expect to pay more this winter. The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects propane customers will spend 54% more than last year on their bills, 43% more for heating oil, 30% more for natural gas, and 6% more for electricity.

According to experts, supply and demand issues are what's driving prices up.

"Now, unfortunately, all of us as customers are going to feel the brunt of all of those issues the suppliers are having to deal with," said Mitch Gross, spokesperson for Eversource.

Eversource delivers electricity and natural gas. They want customers to know there are some things you can do to prepare for the winter and keep prices as low as possible.

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"Think about caulking, weather stripping, installing LED lightbulbs. Take a look at your thermostat; For every degree you move your thermostat down...you save an estimated 2% on your heating bill," Gross said.

They offer a Home Energy Solutions Audit where a technician will come to your house and do most of that for you.

"They check out your home from top to bottom, they look for the drafts, and they do whatever they can to seal them up so your home's a little bit tighter. The goal is you keep the warm air in during the winter, you keep the cool air in during the summer," Gross said.

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For those who need assistance paying their bills, there's help for that too. From state programs like UniteCT for renters to organizations like Operation Fuel. It expects to see an even greater need for help this winter coming off an already tough time for many families.

"We know that COVID has put a lot of hardships on people we know that people have had job losses or hours cut," said Dana Barcellos-Allen, marketing and development director for Operation Fuel. The organization has already started to see that increase.

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"As a matter of fact even in the early fall once we started hearing that the moratorium on some of the utilities was going to be ending we started seeing more applications come in then," Barcellos-Allen said.

Operation Fuel's help is available to people all over Connecticut. You can apply online, here.

Gaby Molina is a reporter and anchor at FOX61 News. She can be reached at gmolina@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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