Cost of natural gas is up which means your heating bill could be, too, this winter

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — This 2021 fall season, we have had some pretty nice weather, but we all know what comes next. This winter, your heat bill might be a little higher than usual. So, how can you keep cozy this snow season but save some money? News10NBC will tell you.

Experts say while economic activity is bouncing back, natural gas production did not follow suit which means demand is coming in hot and supply cannot keep up, forcing prices to jump. Right now, natural gas has a dollar sign with some hefty numbers next to it, and once again, COVID-19 is partly to blame. But, that is not the only reason your heating bill might be pricey this year.

"With the new state laws, they’re looking to do more electrification in the state for both heating and hot water to try and get on a cleaner path of energy so they’re switching to cold climate heat pumps,” said Michael Porpora, an installer with Crossfield Home Energy Solutions.

The New York State Public Service Commission says expect to pay 21% more in natural gas. Last year, a typical heating bill was around $786 during the winter. This year it could spike to over $900 – but keep in mind – every home is different.

"I would say, probably from $100 to a $300 dollar potential increase on your winter heating bill,” Porpora said.

When you are wrapped in a blanket, it sounds crazy to think turning your thermostat down is the only option. While that is an option, there are other things you can do to keep warm while not breaking the bank.

"Make sure the house is tightened up, if you have storm windows make sure those are closed, make sure your window latches are locked so the seal is good,” Porpora added.

There are also cost-efficient replacement options if you have heat sources like baseboard heating or a boiler.

"If you’re still with natural gas you can get a more efficient furnace, or air source or ground source heat pumps. Air sources can pull heat from the air even down to -13 degrees. The ground source heat pump pulls heat from the ground itself, they all run on full electric,” Porpora said.

Experts say the natural gas spike has come at a tricky time for governments nationwide, as global leaders are trying to transition away from fossil fuels.