Some Homeowners Resort To Lowering The Thermostat As Prices Spike

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New Yorkers who heat their homes with oil may be shocked to see their next bill. Home heating prices are rising fast and some customers are calling the spike ‘outrageous’.

“I think it’s insanely high,” one Hicksville resident said.

“I don’t know how [people] do it on a retired income, it’s very hard,” Lucy Mize told CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff.

The price of home heating oil on Long Island this week was higher than ever during a heating season –$4.35 per gallon on average.

The average fill up cost was $1,195, and most Long Island homes fill up more than three times a year.

Homeowners said there is little choice but to turn down the thermostat.

“That’s the only thing we can do,” one resident said.

Home heating prices are affected by the same factors that affect gas prices, according to experts. If oil wasn’t traded publicly, prices would be thirty-percent lower, explained Kevin Rooney of the Oil Heat Institute of Long Island.

“We’re all getting taken to the cleaners by Wall Street, by the commodities traders…and all the big financial institutions,” he said.

Oil heat is twelve and a half cents per gallon higher than it was at this time last year, and the month has been colder than normal.

Oil companies said it has been difficult to pass along the price increases.

“We don’t like to see prices like this either because we know what kind of burden this puts on our customers and we listen to it every day and sometimes it’s heart wrenching,” said Bob McGeary of General Utilities.

Two-thirds of homes on Long Island are heated with oil. Oil companies suggest setting up a budget to make price spike more manageable.

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