**Get Ready for Another Energy Price Spike: High Electric Bills**
**Rates have jumped because of a surge in natural gas prices and could keep rising rapidly for years as utilities invest in electric grids.**
**By Ivan Penn, The New York Times, May 3, 2022**
**Already frustrated and angry about high gasoline prices, many Americans are being hit by rapidly rising electricity bills, compounding inflation’s financial toll on people and businesses....**
**The immediate reason for the jump in electric rates is that the war in Ukraine has driven up the already high cost of natural gas, which is burned to produce about 40 percent of America’s electricity. And supply chain chaos has made routine grid maintenance and upgrades more expensive.**
**What is particularly worrisome, energy experts said, is that these short-term disruptions could be just the start. They fear that electricity rates will rise at a rapid clip for years because utilities and regulators are realizing they need to harden electric grids against natural disasters linked to climate change like the winter storm that left Texas without power for days last year. Power companies are also spending more on new transmission lines, batteries, wind turbines, solar farms and other gear to reduce greenhouse gas emissions....** [end quote]
Builders can install heat pumps instead of natgas home heating systems but that uses electricity. Summer is coming and global warming is increasing the need for air conditioning. Electric cars will put additional demand on the system.
Electricity and natgas prices are rising as Covid rules prohibiting service cut-offs are no longer in effect. That will hurt the poor most.
Once renewable energy sources are fully built into the grid, prices are predicted to drop. The average price of electricity in January 2022 was 14 cents per kilowatt-hour, up 8% from a year earlier. The Energy Information Administration expects average electricity rates to fall to about 10.5 cents per kilowatt-hour by 2030 and roughly 10 cents by 2050 because of a greater use of renewable energy.