COLORADO SPRINGS — Bigger heating bills are in store this winter as energy prices surge.
Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows households can expect to see their heating bills jump as much as 54 percent this winter. Prices are forecast to rise by more than 40 percent for households who use heating oil, 30 percent for natural gas, 6 percent for electricity, and 54 percent for propane.
The biggest reason for higher bills is the recent surge in prices for energy.
"I plan on doing everything as I have been, nothing different, nothing changing," said Jacob DeHerrera.
He is planning on budgeting for the expected increase in energy costs.
"I've learned over time as long as you factor those things into your budgets or planning. That sort of thing shouldn't matter all too much," said DeHerrera.
Colorado Springs Utilities suggests winterizing your home now to cut down on costs.
"Get your furnace or heating system looked at by a professional and make sure it is running as efficiently as possible," said Amy Trinidad, spokesperson for Colorado Springs Utilities.
She also suggests switching to a smart thermostat and adding caulking or weather stripping to prevent air leaks around doors or windows.
"Don't forget about your water systems as well. Take shorter showers because you need natural gas or energy for that hot water heater," said Trinidad.
There are programs for those who need help paying their energy bill.
"Our own project COPE is a program that we offer and provides utility payment assistance to those in need regardless of income. You do have to apply and qualify for that program, but there are also a lot of federal programs available as well. LEAP which is the low-income assistance program is open November 1 and runs through April 30," said Trinidad.
"Get some help if you need it because no one wants to struggle over a winter," said DeHerrera.
She also recommends contacting Pikes Peak United Way at 211. Visit their website for more information.