Why Your Heating Bill Could Be Way More Expensive This Winter in Minnesota
We know colder weather is on the way in the not-too-distant future here in Minnesota, and now there's news that your home heating bill could be the highest in over a decade this winter.
Could colder-than-average weather be headed our way?
The Farmer's Almanac has forecast a Flip-Flop Winter for Minnesota because while they're predicting that Old Man Winter will take a long time to get here this year (giving us a longer, warmer fall season) the weather will 'flip' in January with much colder temperatures headed our way, and above-average snowfall forecast to head our way in February.
Which is pretty much like every winter in Minnesota, right? But the part that could hit us all in the checkbook this year is the short-term outlook for natural gas. According to the US Energy Information Administration, just over two-thirds of Minnesotans (66.1%) use natural gas to heat our homes and keep us warm in the winter.
More perfect storm could be coming if you heat your home with natural gas
And if you're in that 66 percent that uses natural gas to heat your home (like I am), the forecast for the price of natural gas this winter could cause some distinct pain this winter. This CNBC story says natural gas supplies are more scarce, which has already caused prices to increase, and could continue to drive prices up.
Natural gas prices have doubled this year and are expected to continue to rise, resulting in larger winter heating bills for some consumers and higher costs for electric utilities.
Natural gas bills could be the highest Minnesota has seen in over a decade
The story also noted that if we have a colder than average winter, it could cause natural gas prices to soar to rates we haven't seen since 2014 or back in 2008. Part of the problem it said is a lack of supply. Many power plants burn natural gas to produce electricity, and the extreme heatwave parts the Pacific Northwest and other parts of the country experienced this summer caused more gas to be used-- with less stored for the winter season.
All of which could create a perfect storm of much higher home heating bills this winter. It might help, though, if you happen to live in one of the areas of Minnesota where the cost of living isn't as higher. Keep scrolling to see if your city made the list of the Least Expensive Places to Live in Minnesota for 2021!