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“It’s ridiculous”: Prepare to pay more for heating this winter

Energy experts predict your heating bill will be more expensive this winter and the cost to replace a system will increase substantially in 2023.

“Our energy standards in the industry have changed,” said Sam Mullins, the owner of Automatic Air Conditioning and Plumbing.

Higher heating costs

The National Energy Assistance Directors Association predicts the average cost of home heating will increase by 17.2% when compared with last winter.

The cost of natural gas is predicted to increase the most at 34.3% more than last year.

Estimated price increases this winter (source: The National Energy Assistance Directors Association)

Estimated price increases this winter
Estimated price increases this winter

Customers of Memphis, Light, Gas, and Water told FOX13 that they’re just catching up with the high electricity bills of the summer.

“I mean, it’s ridiculous,” said Ramona Morris, a single mother who showed FOX13 a $400 bill on Tuesday. “It’s really hard.”

Sandra Herrell said she had to work for the school system through the summer to keep up with inflated prices.

“I don’t have any choice,” she said. “I’m 76 and still working. Whatever you have to do to make it, you know.”

A spokeswoman for MLGW on Tuesday evening said she would have an answer on Wednesday as to whether Mid-South residents could expect to pay more this winter.

Costlier, but more efficient units

New energy efficiency requirements will take effect next year for central air conditioning and heat pumps, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

“In 2023, there are going to be fairly substantial price increases,” said Sam Mullins, the owner of Automatic Air Conditioning and Heating.

He predicts the cost of a new unit will increase between 15% and 30%. Mullins said the units will be more efficient, but likely larger and more expensive.

“That’s the whole design,” he explained. “It’s to save people money over the long-term. But, it of course affects the upfront costs.”

If you’d like to pay less in the short term, he recommended replacing your unit before the end of the year. If you are willing to pay more for a unit with greater efficiency, he recommends waiting until 2023.

“If upfront cost is not the most major concern, it might be good to push to next year to do it and wait for the most efficient product,” he said.

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