Home heating costs are becoming increasingly unaffordable for millions of lower income families. The National Energy Assistance Directors Association (NEADA) representing the state directors of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) today released its projections of home heating costs for the upcoming winter heating season.
As shown in Table 1, the average cost of home heating is estimated to increase by 17.2% since last winter heating season from $1,025 to $1,202. This would be the second year in a row of major prices increases. Between 2020-21 and 2021-23, the cost of home energy would increase by more than 35%. As shown in Table 2, these are the highest prices in more than 10 years.
Of even greater concern, the total cost of home heating, as shown in Tables 3, 4 and 5 would increase from $127.9 billion to an estimated $149.9 billion. The additional costs will fall hardest on lower income households.
According to Mark Wolfe, Executive Director of NEADA, the rise in home energy costs this winter will put millions of lower income families as risk of falling behind on their energy bills and having no choice but to make difficult decisions between paying for food, medicine and rent. As a result, NEADA sent a letter last week to the Congressional Leadership asking for a supplemental increase in LIHEAP of $5 billion to cover the higher cost of home heating and cooling as a result of increased number of summer heat waves.