LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — With Winter right around the corner, there are a lot of concerns about the price of natural gas and electricity. According to the National Energy Assistance Directors Association (NEADA) heating costs this year are higher than they have been in more than a decade.

NEADA says that families will pay 17.2% more on home heating this year. An increase like this can be especially detrimental to lower income families. One Lynchburg resident says this is a harmful change.

“The cost is going to go up, and some people are going to really suffer from it,” he said.

Although there are multiple forces that play into the rise in costs, experts say one driving force–the war in Ukraine. Sanya Carley is an Environmental and Energy Policy expert at Indiana University, and she says the war has a direct impact on energy.

“A major foreign policy disturbance such as that with a major exporter it compromises channels for trade,” said Carley.

Factoring in the higher costs may add stress on a sizable population of people– however experts say there are steps you can take to reduce costs this winter. Dave M. is an HVAC expert and he explains that little things can make a big difference in saving your money this Winter.

“You want to make sure the windows are sealed up they’re all closed, some of the older homes the electrical outlets they make little covers for that you can seal up around the doors,” he said.

In addition– a statement from Old Dominion Electric Cooperative says that they offer energy efficient tips on their website to help manage costs.