AUSTIN EDITION Heating bills will mount as temperatures fall
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesotans who heat their homes with oil could spend about $500 more this winter than a year ago, but there are programs to help low-income households.
The tumultuous world oil market and supply disruptions sent crude oil prices soaring to $53.64 Monday. Nationally, heating oil for November delivery rose 1.67 cents Monday to $1.47 per gallon.
So far, prices in Minnesota have been fairly stable, though higher than a year ago.
"Availability isn't a problem; there's all kinds of it," said Gerry Parker, dispatcher at Kath Fuel Oil Service in Little Canada. "The problem is price. Currently, we're selling home heating oil for $1.65 a gallon. Last year at the same time it was $1.26."
Low-income households with high fuel bills may obtain assistance through the state's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Last year, the program served nearly 111,400 households through 39 local service providers, granting an average $400 per households.