You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Business

  • Why not warranties on hips, knees?
    When an automaker recalls defective brakes or air bags, the manufacturer’s warranty covers the costs of removing and replacing them.
  • Business at a glance
    Jai Juice, a juice bar and cafè, has opened at 1301 Lafayette St. in Fort Wayne.
  • Submissions
    Send items to Business News, The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802. Information may also be faxed to 461-8893 or emailed to lisagreen@jg.net.
Advertisement
Locally
Northern Indiana Public Service Co. expects winter heating bills to be among the lowest in a decade – barring prolonged periods of below-freezing temperatures.
The company Wednesday said that over the course of the five-month winter heating season – Nov. 1 to March 31 – the average residential customer using a total of 624 therms could expect to pay about $438, compared with $440 last year.
“Market prices for natural gas continue to hold at historically low levels thanks in large part to plentiful domestic resources,” NIPSCO CEO Jim Stanley said in a statement. “This is great for our customers, especially as we head into the winter heating season.”
– Paul Wyche, The Journal Gazette

Normal winter means higher heat costs

– Americans will pay more to heat their homes this winter as they feel something they didn’t feel much of last year: cold.

Prices for natural gas, heating oil and other fuels will be relatively stable. But customers will have to use more energy to keep warm than they did a year ago, according to the annual Winter Fuels Outlook from the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration.

Last winter was the warmest on record. This year temperatures are expected to be close to normal.

Heating bills will rise 20 percent for heating oil customers, 15 percent for natural gas customers, 13 percent for propane customers and 5 percent for electricity customers, the EIA announced Wednesday.

Heating oil customers are expected to pay an average of $3.80 a gallon, the highest price ever. That will result in record heating bills, averaging $2,494, nearly $200 more than the previous high, set in the winter of 2010-11.

Kathleen Ryan of Cohoes, in upstate New York, is on a payment plan in which she is billed for oil November through May to spread out the costs. But with oil prices high and a hint of winter chill in the air, she is concerned.

“You have no idea what Mother Nature is going to bring,” she said. “They’re already talking about frost this weekend. My costs could double.”

Customers who use natural gas, electricity or propane will see lower bills than in a typical winter because of relatively low prices. For example, natural gas should average $10.32 per thousand cubic feet. That’s 0.8 percent higher than last year but 13 percent lower than the five-year average.

“It’s two different worlds. For most families this is still going to be an affordable year, except for those who use oil heat,” says Mark Wolfe, executive director of the National Energy Assistance Director’s Association. “For them, it’s going to be very difficult.”

Advertisement