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Higher Heating Bills Expected In Greenburgh

A colder winter will mean more heating use in Greenburgh this year. New York residents have almost doubled their heating usage compared to this time last December.
A colder winter will mean more heating use in Greenburgh this year. New York residents have almost doubled their heating usage compared to this time last December. Photo Credit: NOAA National Climate Data Center

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Because of higher delivery costs and predictions of a colder winter, Greenburgh residents should expect to see slightly higher monthly heating bills than last year.

For those using home heating oil, AAA spokesman Robert Sinclair said the monthly bill would be as cheap as last year if not for the colder winter Greenburgh is expected to get.

Crude oil, which makes up between 60 to 70 percent of one gallon of heating oil, is $88 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. Colder weather could create a crude oil competition between heating oil and gasoline, resulting in a higher demand and higher prices, Sinclair added.

Robison Oil Co-President Daniel Singer said the average cost of a gallon of heating oil for Greenburgh residents has been somewhat stable. At around $4.20 per gallon, it's about 20 cents higher than it was last year.

Greenburgh homes typically get between 1,000 and 1,200 gallons of heating oil delivered per year, and use about half of that supply from December to February. That can mean using roughly $800 worth of heat in January, the month where heating usage is at its highest, Singer said.

Those who use natural gas to heat their homes 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, which provides natural gas to Greenburgh homes, however, have increased by 3.4 percent from last year, bringing the average gas-heating residential bill to about $348 per month, Con Edison Spokesman Allan Drury said. That's $11 higher than last year for the months of November hrough March.

Low prices are a relief to Greenburgh resident Bill Melicio, who has to keep the heat constantly on in his house for his elderly mother who lives with him.

"During the winter time, heating is definitely one of my biggest monthly expenses," Melicio said. "Prices have gone down a bit, so I'm very happy."

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climate Data Center is predicting a colder winter than last year and, consequently, more heating usage.

Carol Gorin of Greenburgh said her family toughs out the cold every winter — in fact, it's the summer months that she worries about for air conditioning costs.

"We hardly use any heat. It's not running continually like the air conditioning," Gorin said.

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