NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Colder weather means it's time to turn on your heat, but that could impact your pockets big time this year. Experts said it's because of the high gas prices caused by the pandemic.

"High electric bills are not something that you plan to have to dip into your savings account for," Megan Kiner said.

It's not something Kiner, who lives in Antioch, is looking forward to, especially after paying a hefty electric heating bill last winter.

"Ideally, we won't use the electric heat at all if we can help it. We're hoping that the fireplace will work because at this point, purchasing wood is cheaper than the bills we had to pay last year for electric heat," Kiner said.

Professor and Associate Dean with the College of Business at Lipscomb University, Andy Borchers, said this winter's climate would determine just how much consumers will come out of pocket.

"The extent of the price increases will be driven in part by the climate that we see if we have a particularly cold winter or if we see particularly hot summers that certainly drives demand for energy products," Borchers said.

But it's also a game of supply and demand.

"When we see the price of oil, for example going from, 25 dollars a barrel to 80 dollars a barrel. Natural gas is going up similarly the world is going to face higher energy cost and potentially places like Europe even more so than what we do in the United States," Borchers said.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts U.S. households that use primarily natural gas will spend 30% more. They also expect 41% of electric heating households spend six percent more. Either way, it's hitting consumers' wallets who say it's a financially scary situation.

"Following last year's high bills, we are planning this year to just purchase as much firewood as we can and use the fireplace in our rental house," Kiner said.

You can check out the full report from the EIA here.


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