As energy prices rise and fuel supplies become more scarce, families around the United States dread the upcoming winter.
According to the Department of Energy, home heating costs will rise dramatically from last winter.
Some people are concerned that heating assistance programs won’t be able to help struggling families make up the difference.
The situation is even worse in Europe due to Russia’s ongoing natural gas supply restrictions that are driving up prices and resulting in severe shortages.
The world’s energy consumption has increased since the epidemic began, and supply was hardly keeping up before the war in Ukraine further cut supplies, all of which combined to produce a dire situation.
According to the National Energy Assistance Directors Association, this winter will see the highest energy prices in more than ten years.
According to the Energy Department, households in the United States that use natural gas to heat their homes would see an increase in heating costs of 28% this winter.
According to the organization, heating oil is expected to increase by 27%, while electricity will increase by 10%.
This contrasted with rising inflation rates last month when consumer prices increased at the fastest rate in forty years—6.6%.
New England, which depends mainly on heating oil to keep houses warm, will most feel the pain.
According to the energy department, it will cost more than $2,300 to heat a typical home with heating oil this winter.
Some around the nation are pushing for a moratorium on winter shut-offs, and Congressmen have already contributed $1 billion in heating assistance.
However, there won’t be as much federal funding as in 2016, when the epidemic help flowed.
Congress increased funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program by $1 billion last month, bringing the total to at least $4.8 billion and making more heating assistance available for the beginning of the winter season.
“I am delighted that we were able to obtain these fresh resources before the chill of winter comes in,” said Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and a Democrat from Vermont.
The third warmest summer on record had put a strain on LIHEAP funding.
However, that sum decreased from the previous year, when government pandemic relief caused the total energy assistance package to exceed $8 billion.
Because of the high energy cost and ongoing unpredictability in the energy markets, Mark Wolfe, executive director of NEADA, expressed concern that the federally sponsored program wouldn’t be sufficient.
He warned if the winter is freezing, it can get even worse.