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West Virginians brace for dramatically higher heating bills

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginians, like most Americans, are bracing for what could be a long, cold winter. This year, unlike recent years, the cost of heating a home will be dramatically higher.

“I’m expecting prices to go up. Right now, we’re thinking 17 percent to heat your home with electricity or natural gas. Those who have heating oil or propane are going even higher because supplies are tight,” said Mark Wolfe with the National Energy Assistance Directors Association.

Wolfe appeared Thursday on MetroNews “Talkline” warning of sharply rising fuel costs and urging those in lower income brackets ad the elderly on a fixed income to consider application for a supplement to help get through the winter.

“Congress agreed to add an extra billion dollars for low income home energy assistance program. to help families pay their bills. I would encourage people who are not sure they can pay it to call their local community action agency and ask to apply because funds are available and they will make a difference,” he said.

But it’s not just the low income who are expected to struggle. The rising cost of energy will impact everybody in one way or another. Along with the costs rising for home heating fuel, the price of gasoline is expected to rise and already food costs are soaring with the inflation rate. The high costs were almost insured with this week’s announcement by OPEC of a dramatic cut to oil production.

Wolfe indicated everybody is trying to find ways to cut and save as best they can in an extremely difficult environment. The heating costs are just one more part of that consideration as the winter months approach. To avoid your heating bills from shooting up, you may want to have your heating system serviced by a heating contractor who can provide 24/7 emergency heater repair services to improve its energy efficiency. Homeowners should also do a heating maintenance every year to ensure that their unit is in its top shape.

“West Virginia has a lot of people who use heating oil or use propane. Those prices are going through the roof,” he said.

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