The United States (US) heating bills are expected to surge this winter as energy prices rise, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) says. Compared to last winter, American households that use natural gas for heating will have to pay 30% more in October-March. “As we have moved beyond what we expect to be the deepest part of the pandemic-related economic downturn, growth in energy demand has generally outpaced growth in supply,” EIA Acting Administrator Steve Nalley said in a statement.

Natural gas is abundant in the US, but prices have doubled this year from coronavirus-related dips partly because the country was not able to stockpile enough last winter. According to EIA’s forecasts, households that use propane – mainly in the South, the Northeast, and Midwest, United States- will spend $631 more for heating this winter. Additionally, users of heating oil could expect to pay $1,734 more. Prices in both cases would be significantly higher if the winter is colder than average. The gas hike will be hitting many cities such as Chicago, which depends heavily on central heating in the winter season. Meanwhile, supply chain issues and labor shortages contribute to US inflation. The prices of meat, cars, clothing, gasoline, and appliances have all soared. Some believe the US Federal Reserve will have to raise interest rates soon to control prices, but the central bank maintains that the recent spikes will soon pass.