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National Fuel predicts lower heating costs this winter


The cost of heating your home could be lower this year. National Fuel Gas is predicting the average bill will be down 20 percent this winter.

National Fuel Spokesperson Karen Merkel says the cost of heating your home will be about $160 less than last year. Merkel says their "forecast" indicates, on average, five-months of heating from November to March will cost about $648, down from $808 last winter. The prediction is of course based on normal winter conditions. 

“We have a formula it is based on more normal weather conditions and based on the average customer usage we can forecast what the winter heating season bills will be,” said Merkel.

Merkel says Western New Yorkers will also be in a good position for lower bills due to its proximity to shale gas formations in Pennsylvania.

“More than 50 percent of the gas our customers will use this winter has already been purchased at low pricing and then we put it in storage. We have an abundant pipeline infrastructure that carries the gas and transports it, delivering it reliably during the coldest winter months. So, when you put all of that together we’re really in good shape for this winter season,” said Merkel.

Merkel encourages those struggling with their gas bill that the open enrollment for the Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as HEAP, begins on November 17th.