The National Grid power plant on Shore Road in Glenwood...

The National Grid power plant on Shore Road in Glenwood Landing, Friday, Nov. 7, 2014. Credit: Steve Pfost

Long Islanders who heat their homes with natural gas are expected to see a 29% increase in their heating bill this winter, National Grid said Tuesday, as volatility in the natural gas market continues to impact prices, particularly in the Northeast. 

Average National Grid customers will see their total winter heating bills jump $299 this winter to $1,320, excluding taxes. Winter heating bills in 2021 saw a 25% increase. National Grid has about 611,000 gas customers on Long Island.

The average National Grid gas customer on Long Island uses about 720 units of gas, known as therms, during the heating season, which runs from November to March.

The bulk of the expected increase for the winter, or $238, is the result of higher wholesale gas prices, while the balance stems from state-approved delivery price increases and other surcharges, the company said.

National Grid officials on a conference call Tuesday said the home heating cost forecast, released a month early this year, was based on the best forecasts available, including relatively "normal" temperatures following a mild 2022 storm season.

But prices could go higher if the weather turns unusually cold and demand for natural gas spikes, they said, and the Northeast could be particularly hard hit if that happens.

"The Northeast this winter will be more expensive than the rest of the country," in part because of less gas infrastructure in the region, said Juan Alvarado, director of energy markets analysis and standards for the American Gas Association.

Natural gas prices from National Grid have been trending higher all year, including surpassing five-year highs. Prices initially spiked in February to 72.4 cents a therm, dipped in March and April, then rose through the summer and climbed to $1.07 and $1.08 a therm in August and September. 

National Grid said it was releasing the forecasts a month early to give customers a chance to prepare for the increases, including signing up for programs that can help customers defray some of the costs.

The company has seen an increase in participation in programs such as the Home Energy Assistance Program, or HEAP, along with state-backed arrears forgiveness and emergency heating grants, officials said, adding that the company is prepared to provide continued support for customers. "Our objective will be to continue on all fronts to do proactive outreach to customers" about ways to help offset the increases, said Melanie Littlejohn, vice president of customer and community engagement at National Grid. 

Those with problems paying their bills can call National Grid's helpline at 800-930-5003. 

Despite the Northeast's infrastructure constraints, Littlejohn said the company has prepared for supply contingencies for the winter. "That's our focus, that's our responsibility," she said. "We are absolutely prepared." 

It's not just natural gas that has seen increases. Home heating oil has been edging up in recent weeks after falling from record highs in the spring, and suppliers have expressed worries about supply and pricing in recent months, Newsday reported last week

Last week, the average price of a gallon of heating oil on Long Island jumped to $5.33, up from the prior two weeks' $4.99. In May the price rose above $6. About 40% of Long Islanders heat their homes with heating oil.

And the cost of electricity is also increasing. 

The power supply charge portion of bills, already at a five-year high of 13.8 cents in August, dipped only slightly this month, to 13.3 cents a kilowatt hour in September. Year over year, the September power supply charge increased 14.4% and LIPA officials at a briefing to trustees in July said volatile natural gas markets could keep prices high into 2023.

Gas prices for National Grid's New York City customers also will increase this winter to a total $1,394, or an increase of $306 or 28%, National Grid said. 

Long Islanders who heat their homes with natural gas are expected to see a 29% increase in their heating bill this winter, National Grid said Tuesday, as volatility in the natural gas market continues to impact prices, particularly in the Northeast. 

Average National Grid customers will see their total winter heating bills jump $299 this winter to $1,320, excluding taxes. Winter heating bills in 2021 saw a 25% increase. National Grid has about 611,000 gas customers on Long Island.

The average National Grid gas customer on Long Island uses about 720 units of gas, known as therms, during the heating season, which runs from November to March.

The bulk of the expected increase for the winter, or $238, is the result of higher wholesale gas prices, while the balance stems from state-approved delivery price increases and other surcharges, the company said.

National Grid officials on a conference call Tuesday said the home heating cost forecast, released a month early this year, was based on the best forecasts available, including relatively "normal" temperatures following a mild 2022 storm season.

But prices could go higher if the weather turns unusually cold and demand for natural gas spikes, they said, and the Northeast could be particularly hard hit if that happens.

"The Northeast this winter will be more expensive than the rest of the country," in part because of less gas infrastructure in the region, said Juan Alvarado, director of energy markets analysis and standards for the American Gas Association.

Natural gas prices from National Grid have been trending higher all year, including surpassing five-year highs. Prices initially spiked in February to 72.4 cents a therm, dipped in March and April, then rose through the summer and climbed to $1.07 and $1.08 a therm in August and September. 

National Grid said it was releasing the forecasts a month early to give customers a chance to prepare for the increases, including signing up for programs that can help customers defray some of the costs.

The company has seen an increase in participation in programs such as the Home Energy Assistance Program, or HEAP, along with state-backed arrears forgiveness and emergency heating grants, officials said, adding that the company is prepared to provide continued support for customers. "Our objective will be to continue on all fronts to do proactive outreach to customers" about ways to help offset the increases, said Melanie Littlejohn, vice president of customer and community engagement at National Grid. 

Those with problems paying their bills can call National Grid's helpline at 800-930-5003. 

Despite the Northeast's infrastructure constraints, Littlejohn said the company has prepared for supply contingencies for the winter. "That's our focus, that's our responsibility," she said. "We are absolutely prepared." 

It's not just natural gas that has seen increases. Home heating oil has been edging up in recent weeks after falling from record highs in the spring, and suppliers have expressed worries about supply and pricing in recent months, Newsday reported last week

Last week, the average price of a gallon of heating oil on Long Island jumped to $5.33, up from the prior two weeks' $4.99. In May the price rose above $6. About 40% of Long Islanders heat their homes with heating oil.

And the cost of electricity is also increasing. 

The power supply charge portion of bills, already at a five-year high of 13.8 cents in August, dipped only slightly this month, to 13.3 cents a kilowatt hour in September. Year over year, the September power supply charge increased 14.4% and LIPA officials at a briefing to trustees in July said volatile natural gas markets could keep prices high into 2023.

Gas prices for National Grid's New York City customers also will increase this winter to a total $1,394, or an increase of $306 or 28%, National Grid said. 

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