Monthly heating fuel bills above $500 are common in Bethel, and some people are paying more than $800 a month. Contributing to the expense this season are rising oil prices and an unusually cold winter. Bob Angaiak tells KYUK that his fuel bill, running up to $850 a month, is "very, very difficult" to budget for: "We're dipping into our savings and credit cards ... just to get through this winter. And it's going to be like this for another two or three months. Heating fuel bill for an average person is probably about half of your paycheck a month."
A bill in the Alaska Senate that would give vouchers to all Alaskans for free energy probably doesn't have much chance of passage, says one of its sponsors.
Listen to the full radio report at KYUK.