In-Depth: Supply costs for natural gas and electric on the rise

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — If you think your energy bills are high now, you’ll want to brace for winter.  Supply costs are on the rise as we head into home heating season and utilities are warning customers to start preparing now. 

Last week, News10NBC told you about a rate increase that RG&E and NYSEG want on the delivery side of your bill, now we’re looking at the increases you’ll likely see over the next few months on the supply side of the bill. 

The supply side isn’t where the utilities make their money.  They are required to sell you the energy at cost.  The rates can be different based on the supplier and depend on how much they buy in advance contracts compared to on the open market. 

Whether you’re an RG&E, NYSEG, or National Grid customer, you’re going to see an increase of anywhere from 25%-40% for the supply of natural gas this winter compared to last.  That will amount to at least a few hundred dollars more for the average residential customer.  The electric increase is likely to be a little more tolerable.  The utilities are expecting a 6%-10% hike in the supply cost this year compared to last.   

“The waves of supply and demand fluctuations translate into costs and inflation, home heating is one of those victims,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Monday as he was announcing his commitment to add $1 billion to HEAP for this heating season.  Schumer also blamed the pandemic for the increase. “It’s still wreaking havoc on our supply chains across the globe and it’s impacting every industry, the advance of the global economy is not at the pace we need,” he said.

HEAP is a program designed to help low-income families and individuals.  If you are eligible, you may receive one regular HEAP benefit per program year and could also be eligible for emergency HEAP benefits if you are in danger of running out of fuel or having your utility service shut off.

To find out more about applying for HEAP.