Home heating prices rise again

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Some of us here in western Massachusetts can expect to see another hike in home heating prices.

It was a long cold winter, and it cost a lot to heat our homes. Now, even though it’s spring, there’s still a struggle to afford home heating bills.   Natural gas was always known to be the most cost-effective heating source.

“Traditionally it has been for us, but 25% is a lot,” said Patrick Fleming of Northampton. “That seems like a tremendous amount in one chunk.”

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts told its customers the average family will see a nearly 25% increase in their bill, but only for the month of April.

“Usually people don’t just heat with the natural gas, they might run their stoves off it or something like that so I’m sure it will impact everybody,” said Tanya Rapinchuk of Worthington.

Sheila Doiron of Colombia Gas told 22News one reason prices are going up is because it’s now more expensive to transport the gas.  It’s costing providers more to get it here.

“We definitely all hurt right now by the economy. If we have to spend less on something else to afford our bills I’m sure some families are going to be impacted,” said Stephanie Forgette of Easthampton.

This bitter cold created more demand, driving home heating higher this winter. For the average family that uses natural gas, the rate increase could tack on about an extra $40 this month.Columbia Gas says on May 1st, prices will return back to normal.

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