WINNIPEG - Thousands of Manitobans could end up paying a lot more to heat their home this winter as the price of furnace oil, natural gas, and other fuel continues to climb.
Industry experts are warning that household heating bills could climb to as high as 54 per cent more than they were last winter. The highest jump is expected for homes that use fuels such as propane, heating oil, and kerosene, impacting more than 27,000 homes in communities across the province where natural gas service isn’t available. Homes using furnace oil alone could see an increase of 43 per cent.
While Manitoba Hydro’s fees are regulated by the Public Utility Board, heating using natural gas would otherwise cost 30 per cent more than it did last year, which would have resulted in the highest price tag since the winter of 2008-2009.
Economists suggest the reason for the high heating bills is a recent increase in demand outpacing production following the reopening of the economy. The price of crude oil climbed more than 60 per cent this past year, while the wholesale price of heating oil has more than doubled in that timespan.
Meanwhile, Environment Canada is expecting this winter to be colder than last year, leading to even more fuel being likely to be burnt.