CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – With this year’s winter shaping up to be less balmy then last year's, Chappaqua residents can expect their monthly heating bills to respond accordingly. As temperatures drop, the cost to keep warm rises.
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 Chappaqua is expected to get.
Crude oil, which makes up between 60 to 70 percent of one gallon of heating oil, is about $92 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. However, colder weather could create a crude oil competition between heating oil and gasoline, resulting in a higher demand and higher prices, Sinclair added.
Halstead Quinn and Almeida Oil Co., of Mount Kisco, echoed Sinclair's analysis. Vice President Robert Almeida said the current monthly bill would be almost identical to last year if weather conditions were equal. However, this year’s winter is supposed to much colder than last season.
“The season, which is mid-October to mid-April, is still 5 percent warmer than normal,” he said. “But last year's season was 25 percent warmer.”
Almeida said the average cost of a gallon of heating oil for New Castle residents within the last year has been stable, ranging anywhere from $3.70 to $4. It currently sits at $3.80. The average house will use around 1,000 gallons per year, with 57 percent of their usage between December and February.
“Colder weather is obviously better for us,” he said. “But we are also pleased for our customers that the rate per gallon has stayed relatively low.”
Those who use natural gas to heat their homes also 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 Chappaqua 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 through March.