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Home heating costs high and getting higher in South Dakota

Many South Dakota consumers already facing high prices for gasoline and groceries should also expect to pay far more to heat their homes this winter, with prices for propane and heating oil already far higher than last year and rising fast.

Some experts worry the high prices could push some families to take unsafe measures to provide household heat, raising the risk of fires or other emergencies.

Prices for home heating fuels, from propane to natural gas to heating oil, all tend to peak in late fall or early winter when demand rises. But this year, prices have risen much earlier and much higher than normal, and experts expect the situation to worsen as colder weather arrives.

As with any household necessity, the price increases for home heating fuels will place disproportionate stress on low-income families or households on fixed incomes.

Photo: Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, USA
Date 14 August 2016
Author Thomas Wolf, www.foto-tw.de

Have questions about heating oil or propane, choosing the right vendor, or heating your home economically?
See our collection of tips and articles:

There are lots of low- and no-cost actions you can take now to lower your energy bill. Many may seem inconsequential, but small changes add up and can have a big effect. Here are 12 ideas to get you started.
The average cost of heating a home this winter is expected to be $972, which is up from $888 last year, but down from October projections of $1,056, said Mark Wolfe, executive director of the National Energy Assistance Directors Association.
Top five tips to cut costs and winterize your home: Windows – Check for leaks around the edges where the window is hinged, slides or meets another unit. Clean the tracks of any debris that might be interfering with seals. Lock..
Those who heat their home with natural gas might see a 50% jump, and households using heating oil and propane could see rates climb 59% and 94%. Amid dropping temperatures and rising heating bills, strategies to lower your heating bill may be sorely needed this winter.
Energy prices are up 33.3% on the year, according to the November consumer price index from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fuel oil is nearly 60% more expensive than last year, electricity is up 6.5%, and natural gas increased more than 25%.
The cost of heating a home with natural gas, the most common fuel in Ohio, this winter is expected to increase by 30% compared to last year, according to a report released in October by the Energy Information Administration. Propane and heating oil prices will go up 54% and 43%, respectively, while electricity is expected to see the smallest increase at 6%.

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Fuelwonk recommends comparing local vendor propane and heating oil prices before you make the decision to fill up your home tank - use our online comparison tool to find the best offers in your area.