BOSTON (WWLP) – The fall season is upon us and soon we will be reaching for our thermostats to heat our homes if we haven’t already.

Unfortunately, the cost of heating your home is likely to be considerably higher than it was last year.

This week, all six New England governors wrote to congress asking for at least $500 million in emergency funds to help fund the serious growth in home energy bills. The governor’s thanked congress for their commitment to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps many residents get through the winter.

Homeowners and renters who do not exceed 60% the state’s estimated median income can apply for fuel assistance through the assistance program. The governor’s noted in the letter that keeping warm is challenging for New England, with some of the country’s oldest homes and an especially cold climate.

Stephen Huntley, the executive director of the Valley Opportunity Council, said, “People are concerned, people are very nervous, the farmer’s almanac has come out saying it’s going to be a cold and snowy winter, that was pretty well publicized, and then you double the price of oil and people are really concerned.”

Last week, National Grid announced that their customers are going to be receiving skyrocketing bills this winter due to the price of natural gas.

For people who heat their home with oil the average price for a gallon of oil was $4.73 cents at the start of September, which is 66% higher than it was the year before.

The Valley Opportunity Council said if you need fuel assistance don’t wait until it gets cold, they have appointments open now. They have already seen double the amount of customers as they did last year.