Thermometers & Thermostats: What Winter Forecasts Could Mean for Heating Costs

Shipley Energy’s analysts are asked the same million-dollar question each year: How much will it cost to heat my home this winter? Our answer… Well, it depends. The cost to heat the average northeastern home varies on several factors: international conflict, weather patterns, the efficiency of one’s heating systems, government incentives, etc. It’s almost impossible to provide a straight answer because current events and weather can change by the minute. Watch the video below for a breakdown from Shipley Energy’s Ron Martin, or read on for more information. 

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Weather Update

This year, the weather models are predicting a warmer-than-normal December, along with wetter and snowier conditions in January and February. While we can enjoy lower costs due to the warmth in December, forecasts of colder-than-normal temperatures throughout the remainder of winter could cause residents to use more energy to heat their homes, increasing expenses. Thankfully, there’s not much to report on regarding geopolitics, as the Russian-Ukraine war caused havoc in the energy markets in 2022. Still, the markets have since recovered and have seen little impact from the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Weather “has been mild,” keeping prices at bay, but if we see a cold shot in January and February, the supply systems will be constrained, leading to higher prices across the energy sector. You can now protect yourself from higher costs later in the season by securing low pricing.

Electric Update

On December 1st, The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission announced utility price changes. Met-Ed is raising its rates by over 10%. PPL has lowered its rate by 9% but is still at its 4th highest posted price in the past ten years. West Penn Power has hit the rare 10-cent per kilowatt-hour mark. If you still need to switch from your utility to a supplier, consider this: Shipley Energy offers competitive rates that can help you save, especially before that Christmas light bill arrives.

Natural Gas Update

Natural gas prices are currently hanging out at seasonal lows because of mild weather and healthy national storage levels, which could change if cold weather hits. Now is a great time to lock in a fixed natural gas rate.

For December, weather models currently show a likelihood of above-average temperatures for the Central and Western United States. Meanwhile, the Eastern part of the country is predicted to see closer to average temperatures for this time of year. However, early indicators show a potential for colder temperatures starting at the end of December and moving into January. While most weather models expect a warmer-than-average winter overall for most of the country, isolated pockets of cold weather can send natural gas markets climbing to higher price levels. Market pricing for natural gas is near price lows that have not been reached since the peak days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now is an excellent time to lock in multi-year fixed natural gas pricing before the coldest winter days arrive.

Heating & Cooling Update

Another piece of advice from our team is to ensure your system runs at peak efficiency. If you have an aging heating system, the average lifespan of HVAC equipment is typically 15-20 years; you should schedule a tune-up to catch issues that could cause a breakdown later in the season. If your unit has stopped working as well as it once did, it may be reaching the end of its lifespan. Request a free quote from the Shipley Energy HVAC Team online.

Thank you for taking the time to read Shipley Energy’s Home Energy Update! We appreciate your interest in staying informed about energy trends and solutions. If you have any questions or want further information, please don’t hesitate to reach out – Shipley Energy, Energy For What Matters.


Disclaimer: The market update is intended solely for informational purposes only. Shipley Energy Company does not warrant or attest to its accuracy. All actions and judgments taken in response to this report are the recipient’s sole responsibility. Shipley Energy Company shall not be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special, or exemplary damages or lost profit resulting from these market updates.

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