Impact of rising prices on households

The ongoing migration of families from the West Coast to southern Idaho is a sensitive issue for most residents of the Gem State. The cost of living is undoubtedly the main reason for the exodus that has been ongoing for over a decade, and one electric bill in particular is driving people from the mountains of California to the deserts of Idaho.

We in the West have reason to celebrate right now. We've just entered heating season. That means that while many of us still need propane for cooking, drying clothes, running heavy appliances, and hot water, we can expect significantly lower monthly bills for heating our homes over the next few months.

When heating costs make up half of your salary, it is hardly possible to make ends meet financially – especially for those renting larger tanks.

The months of October to March are brutal for most homeowners who depend on fossil fuels for survival. I know people in the mountains of Central California who pay nearly $1,000 a month for propane in the winter. When a person's heating bills are half their salary, it's nearly impossible to make ends meet financially, especially for those who rent larger tanks.

The colder winters hitting many western states are driving up propane prices, and the outlook for the coming winter doesn't seem to be improving. Demand will once again allow companies to raise prices at will.

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Gallery credit: Credit N8

Anna Harden

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