With reports that almost everything that can be put in a shipping container or tractor-trailer truck is being delayed because of “supply chain” traffic jams, it’s no surprise many consumers goods, food and home heating fuels will be more expensive this winter.

The expected spike in home heating oil and natural gas prices will hit all of us, but lower-income households — which often struggle to pay high heating bills to get through New England winters — will feel it the most.

As Statehouse reporter Christian Wade wrote this week, people who heat with natural gas are projected to pay an average of $746 this season — up nearly one-third from the previous winter; those who rely on oil heat will shell out almost $1,800 for the season, a hike of more than 40% over 2020.

Those are tough numbers to stomach, no matter what your income is. The rising costs are made worse for homes that are poorly insulated, too.

Charlie Harak, a senior attorney for energy and utility issues at the Boston-based National Consumer Law Center, said the end of the moratorium on evictions put thousands of households at risk of having their utilities shut off. On top of that, the number of households that aren’t considered low income but are behind on utility bills increased 94% during the pandemic.

There is help for many some people facing these rising costs. Harak said there’s federal money available from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program and the Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program to help people avoid utility shutoffs.

In addition, the Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund helps households in temporary financial straits with disbursements for 2021-22 expected to be $500 per eligible household per heating season.

The fund, which is administered by the Salvation Army Massachusetts Division, is a cooperative effort between energy companies and their customers, which helped 1,683 individuals last heating season.

Anyone who wants to donate to the Good Neighbor Energy Fund, or anyone who needs help paying a heating bill this winter, can learn more at www.magoodneighbor.org.

During our long New England winters, neighbors need to look out for neighbors.

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