CHATHAM COUNTY, N.C. — No matter how you’re heating your home this winter, you’ve probably noticed higher bills. Both propane and natural gas prices are up from last winter.


What You Need To Know

Energy costs this winter are expected to be 17% higher than last year

One propane user says he goes through his 30-gallon tanks every two weeks

EIA says average home will spend 5% more on propane gas this winter


Jordan Gielczyk preparing dinner in his camper. (Spectrum News 1/Rachel Boyd)

According to the Energy Information Administration, U.S. natural gas consumption reached a record high at the end of December. Natural gas is made up of the combination of several gases — including propane — which the U.S. Energy Information Administration said the average household will spend 5% more on this winter than last.

Jordan Gielczyk bought his camper and moved into it full-time after college with the intention of saving money he would otherwise spend on rent or a mortgage. But the cost of living in the camper has changed significantly now that it’s winter, and his main source of heat is propane gas. 

“This is my first winter going through it,” Gielczyk said. “So I've been going through it in about a week and a half, two weeks, but typically if it's summer months, I can go in entire two months and not need to replace.”

Jordan Gielczyk adjusting the heat on his gas stove. (Spectrum News 1/Rachel Boyd)

The National Energy Assistance Directors Association said regardless of what kind of energy source you use, the price of heating a home this winter is expected to be 17% higher than last year, reflecting the highest price in over a decade. 

“I do see it rising, but it's no different than fuel,” Gielczyk said. “For the volume that I output on a daily, weekly, however you want to call it, it's been not unreasonable.”

The propane tanks running his camper are 30 gallons, in comparison, the average size for a home is 500 gallons. At current propane prices, filling a 500-gallon tank translates to spending over $1,000. Frequency of refilling depends on consumption. In Gielczyk’s case his entire household depends on it. 

“Basically everything, the heater, it heats water, like the heat you feel right now is coming from that, heats the stove,” Gielczyk said. “But as much as people think you burn through gas and in a camper, you really don't.”