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Published: Feb 15, 2022 6 min read
Heater In Front Of Oversized 100 Dollar Bill
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Drivers have been fuming about high gas prices since last fall, and inflation has had Americans up in arms for almost a year now. But neither annoyance prepared people for the recent unpleasant shock of getting the winter's first gas and electric bills.

Soaring heating bills shouldn't come as a total surprise. Last fall, federal agencies warned that heating bills would surge 5% to 50% higher this winter, largely due to the rising costs of fuel. Inflation in general is now running at roughly 7.5% — a 40-year high — with energy prices up 27%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But many Americans were caught off guard by heating bills that are outpacing inflation and are much higher than the forecasts anticipated.

"I literally think I gasped," one Minnesota resident said to a local CBS news station after seeing her $350 January heating bill. "I looked back to January [2021], and it was double what it was last year.”

Similar complaints are arising throughout the country.

In Wyoming, residents are reporting heating bills that jumped $100 or more compared to the same period a year ago. Energy officials in Iowa said residential gas bills went up by 106% in December. The natural gas supplier for much of Missouri, Mississippi and Alabama raised prices by 96% this year, and after an especially cold January, people there saw their bills rise by $50 to $150. It's essentially the same story for residents in places such as New Hampshire, Wisconsin, northern California, New York City and Ohio.