Study predicts which states will see the highest heating bills this winter

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FILE – In this photo illustration, a Nest thermostat is being adjusted in a home on January 16, 2014 in Provo, Utah. Google bought Nest, a home automation company, for $3.2 billion taking Google further into the home ecosystem. (Photo illustration by George Frey/Getty Images)

Editor’s note: This story was updated on Jan. 24, 2023 to reflect an update in the study’s methodology and the resulting new rankings.

(NEXSTAR) – Inflation may be easing, but households are still being hit with at least one monthly bill that’s growing. The Energy Information Administration estimates the average natural gas heating bill will go up 28% this winter when compared to last winter.

About half of homes nationally rely on natural gas for heating, according to U.S. Census data. While the U.S. doesn’t rely heavily on natural gas imports, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has still been affecting prices here at home because American natural gas producers have been exporting so much of their production to Europe, reports NPR.

“If the price they can get in Europe is a lot more than what they can sell their natural gas for in the U.S., then some of that is going to be exported to Europe, and that is going to raise the price of things in the United States,” Ellen Wald, oil and gas expert with the Atlantic Council, told NPR.

MoneyGeek, a personal finance website, analyzed Energy Information Administration (EIA) data to determine where heating bills are expected to rise the most.

The state with the highest projected heating bill is Alaska – no surprise there – but the states that follow are all over the map, from Rhode Island to Georgia and even Hawaii.

Midwestern states may not have the biggest bills overall, but they are seeing the biggest increases, according to MoneyGeek’s analysis. States in the region are expected to see their natural gas bills up about 33% this year.

See the 20 states predicted to have the highest bills, and their households’ monthly average natural gas cost, below:

RankStateMonthly gas bill (2022-23)Increase from last year
1Alaska$291$66
2Rhode Island$200$36
3Georgia$200$37
4Connecticut$192$34
5New York$190$34
6Massachusetts$181$32
7Hawaii$179$40
8Maryland$176$33
9Illinois$175$44
10North Carolina$165$31
11Oklahoma$161$30
12Virginia$159$30
13Ohio$158$39
14Indiana$155$39
15North Dakota$153$38
16Michigan$152$38
17Minnesota$149$37
18Arkansas$148$28
19Missouri$147$37
20Washington$146$33

The state with the lowest projected natural gas bill this winter is no surprise: Arizona residents’ average natural monthly bill will be around $65. Following Arizona is Nevada, then Texas, Louisiana, Idaho, and New Hampshire – each with a bill under $100.

While Arizona and Nevada aren’t surprising to find at the bottom of the list, New Hampshire isn’t exactly known for its warm winters. How are the gas bills so low? New Hampshire homes rely far less on natural gas for heat, according to the Census. Instead, residents use fuel oil as the leading source of heat energy, according to the EIA, but they also rely on wood burning, propane and some electricity.

(See where every state ranks in the full dataset.)

To save on your heating bill, the Department of Energy suggests turning down your thermostat to as low as you’re comfortable, keeping curtains open when the sun is out, and upgrading to efficient home appliances.

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