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MoneyGeek Analysis:

This Southern State Has the Third Highest Heating Bill in the Country

Advertising & Editorial DisclosureLast Updated: 1/20/2023
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To explore how rising natural gas prices could affect U.S. households this winter, MoneyGeek analyzed data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) to find which states are expected to have the highest heating prices this year. We also determined which regions are expected to see the most significant bill increases since last winter.

With the winter months fast approaching, families nationwide can use this data to inform their budgets, learn more about heating bill assistance programs and prepare as best as possible. By taking additional steps to reduce home energy costs, households across the country can save money this winter and beyond.

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Most Expensive States for Winter Heating

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Using household data from the recently-released EIA Residential Energy Consumption Survey, natural gas consumption figures and average residential prices, MoneyGeek forecasted average heating bills across the U.S. and ranked the states with the most expensive expected heating bills for winter 2022–2023.

Alaska residents are expected to have the highest heating bills of any state this winter, at an estimated cost of $291 per month. Interestingly, though the cost of heating increased the most in the Midwest, 3 of the 10 most expensive states for heating overall are located in the South.

15 States With the Highest Expected Winter Heating Costs

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  • State
    Monthly Natural Gas Bill per Household (2022–2023)
    Region
  • 1.
    Alaska
    $291
    West
  • 2.
    Rhode Island
    $200
    Northeast
  • 3.
    Georgia
    $200
    South
  • 4.
    Connecticut
    $192
    Northeast
  • 5.
    New York
    $190
    Northeast
  • 6.
    Massachusetts
    $181
    Northeast
  • 7.
    Hawaii
    $179
    West
  • 8.
    Maryland
    $176
    South

Regions With the Largest Winter Heating Price Increases

Overall, natural gas customers across the country will see a surge of 28% in their heating costs this year; however, price increases won't impact every region of the United States equally. Below, MoneyGeek ranked the areas with the highest expected percentage increases in heating costs this winter, along with the top three most expensive states for heating in each region.

1. The Midwest

With an expected increase of 33%, the Midwest will experience the highest average increase in heating bills this winter. When looking at average monthly heating bills per state in this region, the most expensive are Illinois ($175), Ohio ($158) and Indiana ($155).

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  • State
    Expected Monthly Natural Gas Heating Bill (2022-2023)
    Price Difference in Monthly Bill (2021–2022)
  • 1.
    Illinois
    $175
    $44
  • 2.
    Ohio
    $158
    $39
  • 3.
    Indiana
    $155
    $39

2. The West

Trailing close behind as the region with the second highest heating costs is the West, where residents can expect price hikes of 29% in natural gas this season. How much is the heating bill per month here? For residents of Alaska, the expected cost is $291 per month. Customers in Hawaii will likely pay $179, and those in Washington will have a cost of $146 per month.

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  • State
    Expected Monthly Natural Gas Heating Bill (2022-2023)
    Price Difference in Monthly Bill (2021–2022)
  • 1.
    Alaska
    $291
    $66
  • 2.
    Hawaii
    $179
    $40
  • 3.
    Washington
    $146
    $33

3. The South

Average monthly heating bills are also on the rise in the South. Residents here will pay 23% more in 2022 than in 2021. Customers in Georgia will pay the third-highest heating prices in the country ($200). Maryland and North Carolina are also on the list of the ten states with the highest heating costs, at $176 and $165, respectively.

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  • State
    Expected Monthly Natural Gas Heating Bill (2022-2023)
    Price Difference in Monthly Bill (2021–2022)
  • 1.
    Georgia
    $200
    $37
  • 2.
    Maryland
    $176
    $33
  • 3.
    North Carolina
    $165
    $31

4. The Northeast

Keeping your home warm will also be 22% more expensive in the Northeast this year. The priciest states for heating in this region are Rhode Island ($200), Connecticut ($192) and New York ($190).

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  • State
    Expected Monthly Natural Gas Heating Bill (2022-2023)
    Price Difference in Monthly Bill (2021–2022)
  • 1.
    Rhode Island
    $200
    $36
  • 2.
    Connecticut
    $192
    $34
  • 3.
    New York
    $190
    $34

The Safety Risks of Using Alternative Heating Methods to Save Money

With heating costs increasing this year across the board, many people may be tempted to use alternative heating methods such as space heaters and fireplaces. The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) 2021 Home Heating Fires Report warns against this and highlights that heating equipment is the leading cause of fires in U.S. homes.

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NFPA HOME HEATING SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS

According to the NFPA’s study, stationary or portable space heaters are responsible for 81% of home fire deaths caused by heating equipment. And fireplaces or chimneys are involved in three out of 10 home fires caused by heating equipment. Given those findings, the Association’s recommendations are to:

  • Get stationary space heaters, water heaters and central heaters professionally installed in compliance with local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Schedule annual inspections of your heating equipment and chimneys.
  • If you use a portable heater, make sure it is turned off before leaving a room or going to sleep.

Before using alternative heating methods, consider getting help with your heating bill or exploring other ways to save on your heating costs. Some households may qualify for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) this winter season. And taking steps to winterize your home can also help save on heating costs while minimizing risks.

Exploring these avenues can be especially advantageous when considering that insurance coverage varies when it comes to alternative heating methods. While turning on a space heater or lighting a fire in your fireplace may help you save money on your monthly heating bill, many homeowners may find out too late they are not fully covered in the event of an accident. Therefore, it’s essential to understand what your policy covers in terms of the top winter home insurance claims. Before using alternative heating methods, learn about the risks and find an affordable renters insurance plan or buy a quality home insurance policy to protect your property in the event of an accident.

Expert Insights

Understanding your heating needs and staying informed about rising costs can help you prepare for this winter season.

To help readers prepare their homes and finances for increases in their average heating bills, MoneyGeek connected with experts on the subject. Their insights can help you save money and keep your home warm.

  1. What are the most sustainable heating methods today?
  2. How do these methods rank in terms of affordability?
  3. Is it better to keep your home at a constant temperature, or to turn the heater on and off throughout the day?
  4. Can you share any tips to save on heating and keep your home warm this winter season?
  5. As climate changes and natural gas prices rise, can homeowners expect electric heating to become more popular in the future?
  6. Does electric heating increase the value of your property?
Nina Baird
Nina Baird

Assistant Teaching Professor, Carnegie Mellon University

Patrick J. Walsh
Patrick J. Walsh

HVAC Instructor, AS

Andrew Ostrowski
Andrew Ostrowski

Engineering Instructor, UC Berkeley Extension

Methodology

MoneyGeek analyzed data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) to estimate how much more natural gas heating will cost around the country this winter (2022–23) than it did last (2021–2022).

To determine 2021 natural gas heating bills per household, we used gas consumption data and retail prices for residential customers from November 2021.

Our data team utilized the EIA’s Winter Fuels Outlook to determine how consumption and prices will change for winter 2022–2023.

MoneyGeek used household data from the recently released 2021 American Community Survey to estimate the number of households using natural gas, specifically for winter heating purposes. We used this figure to help estimate natural gas expenditures per household in each state for 2022–2023.

Limitations: Regional projections for consumption and prices from the EIA were used to generate 2022-2023 figures rather than projections for each state. This methodology reflects the percentage increase figures for states in each of those regions.

If you have any questions about our findings or methodology, please reach out to Melody Kasulis via email at melody@moneygeek.com.

Full Data Set

The data points presented are defined as follows:

  • Rank: Ranked by projected 2022–2023 monthly heating costs using natural gas in order of highest to lowest costs.
  • Monthly Natural Gas Bill per Household (2022–2023): Uses EIA Winter Fuels Outlook projections by region — considering increased consumption and prices — to estimate natural gas heating costs per household per month.
  • Monthly Natural Gas Bill per Household (2021): Calculated by multiplying total residential consumption (McF) by residential retail prices from November 2021, divided by the total number of households using natural gas for heating purposes.
  • Bill Increase (2021–2022): The difference between the monthly household natural gas bill in 2022 and 2021.
Rank
State
Region
Monthly Natural Gas Bill per Household (2022–2023)
Monthly Natural Gas Bill per Household (2021)
Bill Increase (2021–2022)

1

Alaska

West

$291

$225

$66

2

Rhode Island

Northeast

$200

$165

$36

3

Georgia

South

$200

$163

$37

4

Connecticut

Northeast

$192

$158

$34

5

New York

Northeast

$190

$156

$34

6

Massachusetts

Northeast

$181

$148

$32

7

Hawaii

West

$179

$139

$40

8

Maryland

South

$176

$143

$33

9

Illinois

Midwest

$175

$131

$44

10

North Carolina

South

$165

$134

$31

11

Oklahoma

South

$161

$131

$30

12

Virginia

South

$159

$129

$30

13

Ohio

Midwest

$158

$118

$39

14

Indiana

Midwest

$155

$116

$39

15

North Dakota

Midwest

$153

$115

$38

16

Michigan

Midwest

$152

$114

$38

17

Minnesota

Midwest

$149

$112

$37

18

Arkansas

South

$148

$120

$28

19

Missouri

Midwest

$147

$110

$37

20

Washington

West

$146

$113

$33

21

Pennsylvania

Northeast

$144

$118

$26

22

Kentucky

South

$144

$117

$27

23

Wyoming

West

$141

$109

$32

24

Wisconsin

Midwest

$140

$105

$35

25

Kansas

Midwest

$138

$103

$34

26

Montana

West

$136

$105

$31

27

Nebraska

Midwest

$132

$99

$33

28

West Virginia

South

$131

$107

$25

29

Maine

Northeast

$131

$108

$23

30

Oregon

West

$129

$100

$29

31

Delaware

South

$128

$104

$24

32

South Carolina

South

$125

$102

$23

33

Vermont

Northeast

$124

$102

$22

34

Tennessee

South

$124

$101

$23

35

Iowa

Midwest

$122

$91

$30

36

Colorado

West

$122

$94

$27

37

New Mexico

West

$112

$87

$25

38

Florida

South

$106

$86

$20

39

South Dakota

Midwest

$106

$80

$27

40

New Jersey

Northeast

$105

$86

$19

41

Mississippi

South

$105

$85

$20

42

Utah

West

$104

$81

$24

43

California

West

$100

$78

$23

44

Alabama

South

$95

$77

$18

45

New Hampshire

Northeast

$94

$77

$17

46

Idaho

West

$94

$73

$21

47

Louisiana

South

$91

$74

$17

48

Texas

South

$88

$71

$16

49

Nevada

West

$67

$52

$15

50

Arizona

West

$65

$50

$15

U.S. Average

$138

$109

$29

About the Author


Lucia Caldera headshot

Lucia Caldera is a writer who specializes in personal finance. Her goal is to create approachable content that sparks financial wellness and unlocks growth. Lucia’s work reflects her passion for financial education as the key to reducing the wealth gap for women and minorities.


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