Why is my energy bill so high?

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Prices for a gallon of gasoline are posted on the sign of an Exxon gas station Monday, March 7, 2022, in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington.
Alex Brandon | AP Photo

Researchers predict consumer prices will rise by 7% in 2022. What does that mean, and what will it look like for regular Americans?  

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for regular household expenses like utility bills, gas, and groceries. How do economists use the CPI? We get inflation when prices rise faster than wages and the purchasing power of money. Is inflation solely responsible for these current sky high prices? What about the supply chain? Are inflation and supply chain connected?

Consumers are responding with strategies for buying in bulk, switching high interest credit cards for cash, using public transportation, turning down the heat and putting on warmer clothes. But is that enough? 

On Monday MPR News host Angela Davis spoke with a pricing expert and an economic analyst about consumer prices, inflation and how to cover the gap between your earnings and your bills.


  • Chris Farrell is MPR’s Senior Economics contributor

  • Mark Bergen is the James D. Watkins chair in marketing at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

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