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Heating Costs to Rise this Winter as Cold Returns

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/AP) – Americans will pay more to heat their homes this winter as they feel something they didn’t feel much of last year: cold.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration says winter will be 20% to 27% colder than last winter.

The EIA’s short term winter outlook projects: natural gas use to increase an average of $89 or 15%, heating oil $407 or 19%, electric heat an average of $49 more or 5% and propane use will be up 16%.

Fuel prices will be relatively stable, but customers will have to use more to keep warm than they did a year ago.

“People want to get ready for the season. They want us to deliver their first delivery of the year or top them off for the seasons start,” said Leonard Bruso, Bay State Fuel Oil.

Bruso says they’ve had an increase in calls over the last few weeks. He is urging people to plan ahead.

“Having your unit maintained, remember to take your air conditions out of the window, makes a huge difference in the effect of heating costs in your house,” said Bruso.

The Farm Workers Council Fuel Assistance Program is already seeing the increased need.

“Since the first week of August it has been standing room only in our waiting room. That does not happen till the end of October begining of November,” said Many Ann Kobylanski, Program Director.

Kobylanski says the most an eligible family will receive this year is 200 gallons for the whole winter.

Link for oil price comparison in Massachusetts.

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