Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #158

N.Y.ers will spend $1.2B more for heat this winter
If you think it's a pain keeping your home cool this summer with Con Ed's soaring electric rates, you'll really double over when you see winter's heating bill.

New York families who fuel their furnace with heating oil will find their bills climbing $720 on average over last year, warns Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), with the average homeowner's bill jumping to $2,716 from last winter's $1,996.

New Yorkers in the city and on Long Island will be shelling out $1.24 billion more than last year, he said.

Emphasis added by me.

Schumer has introduced emergency legislation in the Senate to increase funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which aids low-income families and seniors struggling to pay energy bills.

His bill would provide $2.53 billion in additional funding for the program, doubling assistance to New York aid recipients.

Last winter, the program ran out of cash.

Emphasis added by me.

This story is two day's old but it addresses something that's recently been on my mind.

If fuel costs keep soaring, how is that going to change where people live in America?

How many people can afford what will basically be two mortgage payments during winter months -- one actual mortgage payment, then the equivalent for heating?

Even in New York City, landlords have, in the past, lobbied for and successfully gotten fuel pass-along charges tacked onto monthly rents (which are already outrageous).

I personally know of people -- OK, writers(!) -- who are asking about venues for relocation.

I've been thinking about it myself.

Hmmmm ... states often compete to have companies move in, offering tax breaks and grants and cheap land.

Woo me!

Previously here:

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #148
Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #063
New Buzzterm: Energy Poverty

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