The cold snap across much of the country is also driving up the price of heating oil.
USA Today has reported the rise of unemployment has millions of families looking for heating assistance.
Last month, state directors of the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program reported that the number of households receiving heating aid rose from 6.1 million in 2008 to 8.3 in 2009.
The National Energy Assistance Directors Association projects a 20% increase this year.
The price of oil jumped from $70 a barrel last month to more than $82, greatly effecting the price of home heating oil.
Prices at the gas pump have also gone up in the past three weeks. The average price of regular gas is now up an average of 14 cents, topping out at $2.74 a gallon.