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Home heating costs could spike 30 per cent this winter

The risk of 'payment shock' is front and centre as people grapple with high inflation and high-interest rates, said Meridian Credit Union senior wealth adviser Paul Shelestowsky
030922 - home heating - programmable thermostat
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From grocery costs to car loans, inflation is drastically affecting Canadians and their wallets, but another high price tag is likely on the way.

Home heating costs will spike as much as 30 per cent, tied to the price of natural gas, which, as many drivers know, has steadily risen in 2022.

In June, the Ontario Energy Board approved a 20 per cent increase in natural gas for companies like Enbridge.

What is expected to contribute to the spike is sanctions being handed down by Russia, a giant natural gas producer. The forecast is also pointing to a colder than usual winter in Canada, which will lead to higher costs.

The Ontario Energy Board says the average Enbridge customer pays $126 monthly for heating.

The Bank of Canada raised its key lending rate by three-quarters of a percentage point on Wednesday, Sept. 7 making it more expensive to borrow money in a time of climbing debt.

It’s a situation experts say could push some to a breaking point as they rely on high-interest rate loans and credit cards to pay for the soaring cost of everyday goods.

The risk of “payment shock” is front and centre as people grapple with high inflation and high-interest rates, said Meridian Credit Union senior wealth adviser Paul Shelestowsky.

“Anything that has a variable rate attached to it, like the floating lines of credit, we’re going to see a huge payment shock,” he said.

“Everything is more expensive — buying groceries, heating your home, the basics — and now servicing your debt will cost more too.”

Equifax said total consumer debt climbed 8.2 per cent in the second quarter of 2022 compared with the same quarter last year.

“The cost of living has been increasing across Canada and indeed globally with rising inflation being seen across essentials like housing and energy as well as many other goods and services,” Rebecca Oakes, vice-president of advanced analytics at Equifax, said in a statement.

-- With files from Brett Bundale of The Canadian Press

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