HARRISON, N.Y. — Because of higher delivery costs and predictions of a colder winter, Harrison residents should expect to see slightly higher monthly heating bills than last year.
For those using home heating oil, AAA Spokesperson Robert Sinclair said the monthly bill would be as cheap as last year if not for the colder winter Harrison is expected to get.
Crude oil, which makes up 60 to 70 percent of a gallon of heating oil, is about $93 per barrel. That's "cheaper than it's been" compared to when it reached its peak of $110 per barrel last year, 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.
Colder weather could create a crude oil competition between heating oil and gasoline, resulting in a higher demand and higher prices, Sinclair added.
Daniel Singer, co-president of Robison Oil, said the average cost of a gallon of heating oil for Mamaroneck residents has been somewhat stable. At around $4.20 per gallon, it's about 20 cents higher than it was last year.
Harrison 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 heat 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 the lowest they've been in a decade. Delivery costs for Con Edison, which provides natural gas to Harrison homes, however, have increased by 3.4 percent from last year, bringing the average gas-heating residential bill to about $348 per month, Con Edison Spokesperson Allan Drury said. 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.
One person who doesn't seem to mind is Joe Al, who wrote on The Harrison Daily Voice's Facebook page that his thermostat remains at the same number regardless of the cold temperature.
"My thermostat has been set on 68 for the last 22 years," he said.