PELHAM, N.Y. — Because of higher delivery costs and predictions of a colder winter, Pelham residents should expect to see slightly higher monthly heating bills than they did last year.
For those using home heating oil, the monthly bill would be as cheap as it was last year if not for the colder winter Pelham is expected to get, said AAA spokesman Robert Sinclair. Crude oil, which makes up 60-70 percent of each gallon of heating oil, is about $93 per barrel. That's "cheaper than it's been," compared to its peak of $110 per barrel in 2012, 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.
But colder weather could create a crude-oil competition between heating oil and gasoline, resulting in higher demand and higher prices, Sinclair added.
Robison Oil Co-president Daniel Singer said the average cost of a gallon of heating oil for Pelham residents has been somewhat stable. At about $4.20 per gallon, it's about 20 cents higher than it was last year.
Pelham homes typically get between 1,000 and 1,200 gallons of heating oil delivered per year, and use about half of that supply from December to February. That can mean using roughly $800 worth of heating oil in January, the month where heating usage is at its highest, Singer said.
Those who use natural gas to heat their homes will see a slight increase in their bills.
Thanks to the natural-gas boom across the nation, costs are at their lowest in a decade. Delivery costs for Con Edison, which provides natural gas to Pelham homes, however, have increased by 3.4 percent from last year, bringing the average gas-heating residential bill to about $348 per month, said Con Edison spokesman Allan Drury. That's $11 higher than last year for the months of November through March.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climate Data Center is predicting a colder winter than last year and, consequently, more heating usage.