Heating Prices Expected to Be High this Winter

Willie Bailey
Willie Bailey
Roy Urrutia of Atmos Energy
Roy Urrutia of Atmos Energy

Heating your home this winter could set you back an average of $100 dollars, according to an energy group.

The National Energy Assistance Directors' Association is predicting heating prices to go up an average of 10.5 percent.

Those on a fixed and limited income are expected to be the worse hit.

"Some months its right, some months it's not. By me being on a fixed income. The prices go up and down but the prices stay the same," said Willie Bailey.

Bailey says he tries to pay as much of the energy bills as possible and keep up with the fluctuating costs of the necessary commodities.

"Do the best you can. That's all you can do," said Bailey.

The best advice energy officials have is to keep careful eye on how you use your thermostat.

"It depends on how I use the energy in my home versus what you use in your home.  And that's where you have to be careful because everyone uses their energy differently," said Roy Urrutia of Atmos Energy.

Urrutia says homeowners should check the weather stripping around their home, change the filter on their heater and make sure the unit is working properly.

"One of the things a consumer can do now is call a service technician to make sure their unit is working properly," said Urrutia.

For those using heating oil, the NEADA is anticipating an increase of $400 bucks, an increase of 28 percent from last year.

Electricity is expected to increase about $58 dollars this winter.  Propane users should see their bill go up about $382.

Atmos Energy says their customers can help those who struggle to pay their heating bills this winter.  They can donate to an organization like the Panhandle Community Services and Atmos will match the dollar amount, according to Urrutia.

"If a customer gets in a bind, then we'll work with them. Now one of the things I caution is don't wait until the last minute or until the service has been turned off," said Urrutia.