Higher energy costs forecast for winter

Colder winter forecast driving cost increase

Heating costs are expected to take a bigger bite out of Wisconsin wallets this winter because of a colder-than-usual winter and higher energy costs.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are predicting winter temperatures 13 percent colder than last year across the country.

While temperatures drop, all major home heating fuel costs will rise this winter.

Higher energy costs forecast for winter

The U.S. Energy Information Administration is forecasting electricity to increase by 8 percent, natural gas by 12 percent, home heating oil by 17 percent and propane by 18 percent.

“With anticipated rising fuel costs, people need to start thinking about insulating their homes, and what they can do to help,” said Phillip Downs, technical supervisor for Project Home.

Project Home works in cooperation with the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP) to weatherize homes.

Higher energy costs forecast for winter

Individuals and families qualifying for assistance can receive assistance to help lower the burden of energy costs.

WHEAP provides a one-time payment during the heating season to individuals and families qualifying for assistance.

WHEAP also provides crisis assistance to households without heat, that have been disconnected by a heating vendor, or are nearly out of fuel and do not have the funds to purchase more.

The organization also provides emergency assistance to eligible home owners if the furnace or boiler stops working during the heating season.

To apply for assistance, individuals or families can apply to WHEAP by calling 1-866-HEATWIS (432-8947) or by visiting www.homeenergyplus.wi.gov and clicking on the “where to apply” tab.

“Sometimes when fuel costs go up a lot, people have to make the difficult choice between keeping the lights and heat on, and having to buy groceries, and that’s a difficult choice we don’t what anyone to have to make,” said Downs.

For more information about Project Home, visit their website at: www.projecthomeWI.org.

Higher energy costs forecast for winter