Heating Your Home May Cost Over 25% More This Year

Residents of San Diego and Honolulu saw the biggest jumps in home energy costs

Woman adjusts thermostat on wall in home
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Energy prices have been on the rise in 2021, with natural gas and oil prices both over 25% more expensive in November than the same time last year, according to a new study from The Balance. The analysis looked at three of the most-used energy sources in the United States, and found that prices for oil are up nearly 60% since last year, while the cost of natural gas is more than 25% higher than last year.

Key Takeaways

  • Oil, gas, and heating costs are more expensive in 2021 compared to the same time last year.
  • Prices for oil are up nearly 60% since last year, while natural gas prices are up more than 25%.
  • Minneapolis saw the highest year-over-year increase in natural gas prices, while Boston saw the highest month-over-month spike in gas prices.
  • Electricity prices have also increased but at far slower rates this year.

The most popular energy source in the U.S. is electricity, but it has seen far fewer cost increases since 2020. In November, electricity cost homeowners 6.5% more than the same time last year. Though the cost of electricity rose in 2021, the price spike has remained fairly flat since.

The Balance analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and according to the findings, nationwide energy costs steadily increased through the year, before dropping in the spring and summer months. Thankfully for consumers, the pace of rising energy prices slowed in November, rising 3.5% over October, compared to a 4.8% increase over September.

Minneapolis Residents Paying 50% More for Natural Gas

Some cities, however, are feeling the heat of rising energy costs more than others. The sunny cities of San Diego and Honolulu saw the biggest energy price increases, both over 20% more expensive than last year. The cities of Minneapolis and Chicago saw price jumps of nearly 20%. Dallas, Boston, and Los Angeles also saw price increases of at least 18%. The Northeast corridor of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. saw energy price increases, though they were more modest at about 10% to 13%. However, Anchorage, Alaska, actually saw a decline of almost 6% in the cost of energy.

For consumers who use natural gas to heat their homes and for cooking and other chores, prices are rising the most in Minneapolis. Residents of the city paid over 50% more for natural gas than they did last year. It’s not much cheaper in Chicago; natural gas prices in the Windy City are 46% more expensive than last year.

Boston Saw Biggest Monthly Price Jump

Though the pace of energy cost increases slowed from October to November, Boston saw a huge spike in the cost of natural gas in November, up 32% from the month before, which could mean a pricey winter for Beantown residents. 

Across the rest of the country, however, monthly increases have been more modest, at less than 10% for every other major city tracked by the BLS.

This trend also holds true when taking all three major sources of energy into account, as people in Boston saw rising energy costs of 13% in November. Since October, major cities in the rest of the U.S. have seen energy price bumps of less than 5%.

Rising prices of all goods and services have hit consumers hard throughout the pandemic. Prices rose 6.8% in the year through November, the fastest rate of inflation in nearly 40 years.

Methodology

All data on the price changes of fuel oil, natural gas, and electricity were sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, released Dec. 10, with data through November 2021. Year-over-year and month-over-month price changes were calculated with the BLS Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers. Regional data represents the Metro Statistical Areas of each city per the BLS Regions.

Research and analysis by
Adrian Nesta
Adrian Nesta, Research Analyst on the Data Journalism team at Dotdash
Full Bio
Adrian Nesta is a research analyst on the Data Journalism team at Dotdash, the digital publisher that owns and operates The Balance. His work includes data collection, cleaning, analysis, and visualization for stories in the data journalism portfolio across every vertical at Dotdash.
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Article Sources

  1. U.S. Energy Information Administration. “Use of Energy Explained: Energy Use in Homes.” Accessed Dec. 15, 2021.

  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Consumer Price Index Summary.” Accessed Dec. 15, 2021.