Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit

Polar "Poor"-Tex >> Frigid temperatures heat up home utility bills

knotgrumpy Member Posts: 208
First came the deep cold, then sharply higher heating bills.

Bone-chilling temperatures have rattled consumers across the nation since mid-December. Bitter cold is likely to linger over the Northeast and Midwest, and unseasonably low temperatures are forecast for the Southeast, so millions of consumers who've seen skyrocketing utility bills are likely to see another spike in January and February.

The Energy Information Administration predicted that more than 90% of the nation's 116 million homes would have higher heating bills this winter, projecting rises of 2% (for those heating with electricity) to 13% (natural gas). Homes heated with propane were expected to spend 9% more than last year, while those using heating oil were expected to get a 2% price break. Those estimates came in October, before two-decade-low temperatures, rising demand and lower energy stockpiles gripped much of the nation. Revised EIA estimates from earlier this month peg some home heating bills rising as much as 23.5% in the Midwest. But even those estimates may be too low.

"I don't think they factored in the polar vortex or what's happening now,'' says Steve Schork of energy markets tracker The Schork Report, who says extended cold temperatures could push winter utility bills to their highest levels since 2008.

Friday, the price of natural gas - used to heat more than half the nation's homes - jumped to its highest levels since 2010. It's jumped nearly 30% this month alone. Propane, the primary heat source in 6 million homes and 2 million businesses, is also soaring, and in some tight Midwest markets, is trading at nearly $5 a gallon.


<a href=""></a>


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,121
    What amazes me

    is the number of folks who don't seem to connect "it''s cold out" with "my heating bill is higher".  Sigh...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    edited January 2014
    Winter Like I remember

    As a kid growing up we have been spoiled here in the Midwest the last 10 years or better.

    Frankly I have seen higher heating utilities in the past with milder winters. I'm actually pretty happy with utility rates for how much of the country that's experiencing the "vortex".

    I can remember late 70's. Early to mid 80's, mid 90's much colder for longer periods. Weather data here in northern Illinois indicates 13/14 winter ranking 20 out of top ten with most days below zero, and most consecutive hours below zero.

    Maybe it's a sign I'm getting older.