In New Jersey, Colder Winter Could Push Home Heating Costs Higher

It looks as if some New Jersey residents may have to dig deeper into their pockets this winter to pay their energy bills.

The United States winter heating outlook projects that the coming season will be about 18 percent colder than last year, a prediction that the Energy Information Administration says will boost natural gas heating bills, as well as the cost of home heating oil, electricity, and propane.

For households that rely on home heating oil, the agency, an arm of the U.S. Department of Energy, estimated that the average expenditure for the fuel could reach record levels.

The bills for heating a home with natural gas this winter (October through March) are expected to be up nearly 14 percent; heating oil, up 17 percent; electricity, up 8 percent; and propane, up 17 percent — according to EIA’s Short-Term Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook for the 2012-2013.

In New Jersey, where more than three-quarters of homes are heated by natural gas, the outlook is not as bleak. The state’s four gas utilities all are expecting a drop in utility bills, by as much as 3.6 percent in the case of Public Service Electric & Gas, which has 1.9 million customers.

Read the full article here.

Photo from flickr

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  1. Well, let’s see…ice caps melting, glaciers disappearing, NYC spending millions to deal with their vulnerable subway tunnels as ocean levels rise…hmmm………

    ….Nah, everything is just fine! Go about your business folks, Those libruls are lyurs !

  2. I see no benefit to denying climate change. I have noticed that since i’ve been in New Jersey, (Dec. of 1988 is when we moved here) and started gardening, several plants that were annuals are now perennials. For example, I no longer have to dig up gladiola bulbs. They just seem to live through the winter. We were zone 6a when I moved here. Now I can raise plants for zone 7.
    And i have lived in the tri state area my entire life. Of all the things we might have to worry about, a tornado was something that I never saw. Now all of a sudden we get tornados?!? Careful planning, searching for safe alternate energy sources, putting scrubbers in incinerator chimneys, putting more solar panels in the deserts etc. are all things that have a real benefit to our environment. Why wouldn’t we be doing every single possible thing to make our environment as clean and safe as possible?

  3. I’m not gonna gloat. I’m not gonna gloat. I’m not gonna… ah, the hell with it. I’m going to the beach.

    Even if global warming is pushing up the temperatures, the thieves that sell us oil (OPEC) and the thieves that buy it from them (Energy Companies) are going to push up the prices anyway.

  4. Should Obama be re-elected, I’m sure that the warm, fuzzy feelings generated there will help keep all you progressives warm. It’ll certainly have to do. I doubt very much that all the discounted home heating oil conspicuously earmarked for the American “poor” the last few years by Hugo Chavez will ever find its way to Montclair, after all. (And then there was that thread some days ago complaining about the high local cost of firewood. Perhaps the imminent frost is merely God’s judgment upon liberals?)

    And will someone please explain succinctly and credibly to me how, if we’re suddenly facing a cold winter, global warming is nonetheless in the ascendancy?

    Now I have to go consult my own favorite weather forecasting source, the bands on the local caterpillars. Which are about as accurate as ALL your usual sources of edification, Spiro.

  5. Cathar, I admire your willingness to challenge me on my “usual sources of edification”. Let’s not let the truth deter us! Amen! In the name of intellectual rigor, we must be stringent in our sifting through dubious sources!
    Nonetheless. I have assembled a brief set of links for your reading pleasure, old coot:
    …I could keep this up but it would wear out my suspenders.

  6. ..which reminds me…. hey, ROC, how’s that hoarding of old school incandescent bulbs working out for ya? I can see your collection from my house! Do you have a permit for that shed?

  7. “ROC, how’s that hoarding of old school incandescent bulbs working out for ya? I can see your collection from my house! Do you have a permit for that shed?”

    Uh, we do this. Don’t have a shed (yet) but we buy them whenever we happen to come across them. They work just fine.

  8. Fran, not only can you grow plants that tolerate zone 7, you are — we have all been — elevated to zone 7. We are no longer zone 6 here in Baristaville.

    But there’s no global warming, or science to support it. Just a new USDA average temperature designation. Probably jiggered, like the unemployment rate, to boost Obama’s re-election.

  9. Kit, I look forward to the Foxnooz spin on why we slowly see more and more people planting Crepe Myrtles in Baristaville – I remember way back to the 1980’s when you had to go to South Carolina to see them flourishing.
    Jeez, even the plant nurseries are in cahoots with Obama? What’s the world coming to?

  10. Spiro, I have had a worry (and now I’m boring you with my gardening-wonk side) that some of my beloved garden plants will fade because they won’t undergo sufficient stratification (winter cooling) to germinate. That’s not happening this year, apparently. But a lot of our plants — hellebores come to mind — are at the bottom of their cold-hardiness zones. We get warmer, goodbye hellebores & delphiniums & sweet peas, among other plants. I would miss them. Although I never could grow a delphinium; other gardener friends have.

    Then again, I’ve tried acanthus and failed twice. Maybe now they’d take.

  11. My neighbor has two beautiful camellia bushes that are several years old now and actually bloom in February. His gardenias also survive outside all year round, albeit close to the house. Once we transition to a true zone 8 or 9, he can move them closer to the sidewalk and add a bougainvillea or two.
    People are free to criticize the validity of climate change. I’d like to point out that people also harshly ridiculed the physician who suggested that doctors could reduce the incidence of death from puerperal fever by first washing their hands after handling cadavers, before helping a mother in childbirth and labor.

  12. from wikipedia: Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis[Note 1] (July 1, 1818 – August 13, 1865) (born Ignác Fülöp Semmelweis)[1] was a Hungarian physician now known as an early pioneer of antiseptic procedures. Described as the “savior of mothers”,[2] Semmelweis discovered that the incidence of puerperal fever could be drastically cut by the use of hand disinfection in obstetrical clinics.[2] Puerperal fever was common in mid-19th-century hospitals and often fatal, with mortality at 10%–35%. Semmelweis postulated the theory of washing with chlorinated lime solutions in 1847[2] while working in Vienna General Hospital’s First Obstetrical Clinic, where doctors’ wards had three times the mortality of midwives’ wards. He published a book of his findings in Etiology, Concept and Prophylaxis of Childbed Fever.
    Despite various publications of results where hand-washing reduced mortality to below 1%, Semmelweis’s observations conflicted with the established scientific and medical opinions of the time and his ideas were rejected by the medical community. Some doctors were offended at the suggestion that they should wash their hands and Semmelweis could offer no acceptable scientific explanation for his findings. Semmelweis’s practice earned widespread acceptance only years after his death, when Louis Pasteur confirmed the germ theory and Joseph Lister practiced and operated, using hygienic methods, with great success. In 1865, Semmelweis was committed to an asylum, where he died, ironically, of septicemia at age 47.

  13. Fran, the naysayers (oddly, it seems to only be the right wing at odds with all things science) will only “believe” when the evidence is less subtle than a shift in growing zones or a greater incidences of extreme events such as floods, tornados and and fires. I am not sure why scientific evidence of a global climate in flux is considered a “belief”, any more than evolution is, but there you have it. I suppose they will “believe” when it costs them tax dollars – i.e., having to shore up the NYC waterfront or dealing with having to move entire towns that will be sitting on new flood plains. Or transporting water to areas undergoing desertification, like much of Texas. I hope I’ll be long gone when the water wars start.

  14. I don’t doubt the validity of climate change (I like this term better than “global warming” because it aptly describes the Earth’s natural warming and cooling changes that have been around forever). We would not be here if it were not for climate change and the glaciers didn’t melt. The melting of the glaciers in what we now call Canada brought fertile soil to our area allowing us to grow a wide variety of crops and flowering plants and trees. So yes, there is climate change, and there’s not much we can do about it. Plants and animals become extinct, but new forms of life are found around the world every day. Sometimes, a life form we thought was extinct returns as in the case of a spider called the Bat Cave Meshweaver that was recently discovered in San Antonio. A highway project there was halted as a result of it.

    I don’t have a Chicken Little mentality about this; it’s a natural progression and is beyond our control.

  15. MM has it right. Don’t hold your breath until the ocean inundates Manhattan. Sure, there could be a storm surge during a full moon tide like the early 90’s, but the rest is science fiction designed to support a political agenda and a dwindling cohort of green energy companies that exist because more because of taxpayer subsidy than science. Yes a cold winter would be costly and miserable, but it wouldn’t have had to be quite so, if we focused on our immediate energy demands…

  16. I think Mrs. Martta makes sense with her point about the natural ebbs and flows of climate change. After all, the Grand Canyon was carved out by water. Can you imagine what it looked like then? Both terrifying and magnificent, I’m sure. My concern is that denying that humans have anything at all to do with climate change will provide a convenient excuse for permitting dirty, unsound, toxic manufacturing and disposal practices to continue. I also feel that with this, as with everything, reasonable balances can be achieved if people keep an open mind. Just for the record I am not a fan of compact fluorescents. Sure, they are fine for some uses, but as an artist and a photgrapher, I tend to prefer the radiant light of an incandescent bulb and I don’t appreciate having that limited to me. I also find it distressing that until very recently, it seemed as if no provisions at all were made for the safe disposal of CF Bulbs when they broke, which means that everyone is now exposed to mercury in our landfills. I don’t view this as a partisan subject. I just wish we could see it as all of us living in a great big house and deciding that we wanted our plumbing, our backyard and our household to be as clean and safe as is reasonably possible without being total luddites about it.

  17. And that’s a good idea? Drive around Vermont sometime, past roadside fields covered with solar panels on land that’s highest and best use is agriculture. Besides being an eyesore, the energy it took to build and erect these monstrosities couldn’t be produced by them in decades, time over which they will surely become obsolete. But hey, it makes some people feel good to be on the enviro bandwagon even if it really provides no real net energy savings. I’m truly environmentally conscious, but I can recognize BS when I see it.

  18. Like you, deadeye, I love the unspoiled Vermont countryside. And yes, I agree with you, PV fields are uglier than green pastures and fall foliage (although not as ugly as, say, an oil field or a coal mine).
    But you might want to email to the Navy brass, deadeye.
    They appear to be less adept than you in the “recognize BS” department- and are about to install those 60,000 PV panels, and, as such, “jump on the enviro bandwagon”.
    For all we know, they might have starting serving free range chicken with organic arugula at the Pentagon!
    I believe the Air Force is also lacking your “recognize BS” ability – They just installed 18,000 of their own PV panels on three of their air force bases. You might want to email them, too.

  19. I would need more information before I could have an informed opinion on whether or not the farmland in Vermont is being wasted by hosting energy harvesting equipment. I would hope that the people of Vermont researched their options and made these decisions carefully.
    That said, I don’t see how harvesting solar energy over many square miles in the desert would not yield a benefit in terms of both energy harvested and pollution reduced. Until they irrigate the desert for farmland, let’s use it for solar energy. Using our vast deserts for solar energy can help reduce our dependence on foreign oil. I don’t think there is any one magical solution for our energy needs. The solutions will come gradually as we find ways to merge various sources–some foreign oil, some domestic oil obtained through SAFE and carefully monitored offshore drilling and pipelines, nuclear, clean coal, natural gas, hydroelectric, wind energy, geothermal, etc.
    These are huge projects to try and coordinate. Eventually we will find ways to make it work; I support keeping an open mind and working together to hone and perfect the many technologies available to us already, as we search for new and better solutions.

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