By now, you've clearly noticed that darn near everything has gotten more expensive. Issues with the supply chain have made life difficult and more expensive for businesses and they are passing that on to the consumers. Now, we're getting word that it is going to be very expensive to heat your home this winter too. It seems like we just can't catch a break!

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, around half of all households in this country, including mine, use natural gas for heating your home and water. It could be a very expensive winter for these households. CNN reports that the price of natural gas has surged nearly 180% over the past 12 months. It hasn't been this expensive since February of 2014. Many fear that an early cold snap or an extremely cold winter season will force homes to crank up the heat. That could further shrink the nations' average stockpiles of natural gas. Yes, prices could go even higher.

So why have prices for natural gas gone up so much? CNN reports that its supply and demand. When the economy began to bounce back after the worst of the pandemic, natural gas production did not. Now demand is ramping up faster than the supply can keep up with, forcing prices to go higher. Hurricane Ida also knocked out oil and gas production along the Gulf of Mexico for weeks.

Is there anything that we as consumers can do to combat rising prices? You can call your utilities and ask if prices will be higher this year. You may also want to get on a budget billing plan so you know exactly how much your heating bill will be each month. At least that will take the surprise out of opening your bill each month!

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