YONKERS, N.Y. – Oil prices are down but thanks to a chilly winter forecast, Yonkers residents may see their home heating bills on the rise this year.
For those using home heating oil, AAA Spokesperson Robert Sinclair said the monthly bill would be as cheap as last year if not for the colder winter Yonkers is expected to get.
Crude oil, which makes up between 60 to 70 percent of one gallon of heating oil, is about $92 per barrel. That's "cheaper than it's been" compared to when it reached its peak of $110 per barrel this year, Sinclair said.
"If things remain as they are right now — demand down, mild weather, inventory up and crude oil prices down — it will bode well for home heating bills this year," he said.
But colder weather could create a crude oil competition between heating oil and gasoline, resulting in a higher demand and higher prices, Sinclair added.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climate Data Center (NOAA) is predicting a colder winter than last year and, consequently, more heating usage.
In December, New York residents almost doubled their heating usage compared to this time last year, data from the NOAA shows.
In Yonkers, the average house will use around 1,000 gallons per year, with more than half of their usage between December and March, Robison Oil Co-President Daniel Singer said. While the average price fluctuates, it has hovered around $4 per gallon, he added.
But heating oil customers won’t be the only ones who are likely to see their costs rise. Those who use natural gas to heat their homes also will see a slight increase in their bills.
Thanks to the natural gas boom across the nation, costs are at the lowest they've been in a decade. Delivery costs for Con Edison have increased by 3.4 percent from last year, bringing the average gas-heating residential bill to about $348 per month, Con Edison Spokesperson Allan Drury said.
That's $11 higher than last year for the months of November through March.