Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Think this winter's been harsh? Wait until the heating bill arrives. National Fuel is warning the extreme cold we've seen could impact your heating costs.
National Fuel spokesperson Karen Merkel says November was 11. 7 percent colder than normal, December was 5.4 percent colder and January was 11.7 percent colder than normal. When compared to last year, January 2014 was a staggering 29 percent colder than a year ago. “The bigger the difference between the temperature outside and the thermostat setting inside, the harder your heating system will work and the more energy it will use, even if you don’t turn the thermostat higher,” says Merkel, who notes school closures have kept families home at times when they normally turn the heat down.
Merkel says with the record cold we've seen, energy bills will be higher than forecast. She notes the forecast was taken in October, based on normal weather conditions. "Our weather has been anything but normal, so we certainly anticipate the bill of $714 has increased based on the fact our customers' usage has increased," notes Merkel.
Sticker shock can be expected especially after the previous two winters, where Merkel says energy bills for the season were in the mid-$600 range.