Natural gas prices could go up this winter

State energy secretary predicts increased prices

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s predicted that on the whole, New Englanders heating their homes with gas will pay more this winter. That may not necessarily be case here in western Massachusetts, however.

Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Maeve Bartlett predicted it’s going to be a very expensive winter for households heating with gas. She blamed possible higher heating costs on last winter’s prolonged frigid temperatures, which cut into the gas supply in the Northeast.

Mohammed Ajroon of Springfield heats his home with gas. He told 22News that the higher price projections concern him.

“My concern is that people like me who are really working hard and don’t get fuel assistance. We wouldn’t be able to afford to heat, and we’re going to be cold,” Arjoon said.

Columbia Gas services 16 Western Massachusetts cities and towns. Spokeswoman Andrea Luppi told 22News that they expect prices to stay the same as last winter, but they won’t know for certain until October.

Bartlett has said she won’t have a clearer idea of where prices are going until November.

Still, the higher regional price predictions worry people.

“I’m ashamed to hear gas prices may be going up, I always liked gas, I like gas for my cooking and the hot water,” Sonjia Lapponese of Agawam said.

22News found one thing Columbia Gas and the energy secretary agree on: the increased popularity of heating with gas. Because of thousands of conversions to gas heat this past year, Bartlett says the region has a constrained natural gas supply.

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