National Grid predicts winter heating bills will be less costly than last year’s –

The National Grid office in downtown Syracuse during the evening. (File photo)
Syracuse, N.Y. – National Grid today predicted that Upstate households will pay 18% less this winter than a year ago for natural gas heating.
The average residential bill for November through March is forecasted to total $639, or about $143 less than last winter, on average.
That compares with average winter bills of $496 in 2020-21, $674 in 2021-22 and $782 last year.
Last year’s bills were the highest in more than a decade, National Grid officials said.
This year’s falling cost – which defies current inflationary trends – is expected because U.S. natural gas production has increased while international demand for the fuel has dropped off, utility officials said.
National Grid makes the heating cost prediction for an average household based on normal weather and a current snapshot of market conditions. Severe weather or disruptions to the natural gas market could change actual prices as the winter proceeds.
For example: A year ago, National Grid predicted that heating bills would soar to $943, but they ended up lower, at $782. That was largely the result of warmer-than-normal weather, said Jared Paventi, speaking for National Grid.
Every year, a significant number of Upstate customers struggle to pay their heating bills. National Grid today reminded customers that there are several resources that can help:
Home Energy Assistance Program: This federally funded program, administered by county social services departments, offers financial help to income-qualified customers. The program opens for applications Nov. 1. The income limit for a family of three, for example, is $58,848.
Energy Affordability Program: Customers who qualify for HEAP automatically qualify for utility bill discounts. Apply here.
National Grid also sponsors its own assistance programs. Each is administered by HeartShare Human Services of New York, a nonprofit. For information, visit HeartShare’s website or call 1-855-852-2736.
The programs include:
Hope and Warmth Energy Fund provides financial help to income-eligible customers who are more than $200 behind paying their bills. The income limit in Onondaga County is $73,728 for a family of three.
Hearts Fighting Hunger provides a $150 grocery card to customers who owe a past-due bill and have a vulnerable household member. The income limit is $73,728 for a family of three.
Care & Share can provide a $200 grant to income-eligible customers. The income limit is the same as for HEAP, or $58,848 for a family of three.
To speak with a consumer advocate from National Grid, call 1-800-642-4272.
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