Heating costs in New Brunswick this winter have hit record levels for all fuels and indications are things may not be any better next winter.
Energy consultant Jan Sorenson says record natural gas prices this winter have shocked energy markets and those markets have already raised futures prices for next winter.
"I see no reason why prices next winter won't be much different than this current one," said Sorenson.
While most New Brunswickers heat their homes by means other than natural gas, NB Power is impacted by higher natural gas prices.
"There is a negative impact to the finances of the company because of the high natural gas prices," said Neil Larlee of NB Power.
Every increase of 10 cents in the price of natural gas costs NB Power $1-million. Next winter's natural gas prices are already several dollars higher than they were this year, making it difficult for the Crown corporation to meet its financial targets and keep rates low.