EIA: Return to near-normal winter will drive heating bills higher

October 10, 2012 By    

A return to a near-normal winter is the driver behind higher home-heating expenditures forecasted across four primary fuels, including propane, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports today in its Short-Term Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook. EIA expects higher average fuel bills in states east of the Rocky Mountains.

Colder weather and increased demand will contribute to propane-heated households paying 13 percent more in fuel bills this winter compared to last year, EIA reports. However, EIA measures propane expenditures as a volume-weighted average only for the Northeast and Midwest regions.

This increase in expenditures comes even with lower projected residential propane prices of 4 percent from last winter. But an 18 percent colder winter compared to last year and increased consumption of 17 percent in the Midwest and 16 percent in the Northeast will lead to higher propane bills for consumers.

The EIA report also analyzed the propane supply picture. Inventories will remain near the high end of their historical range under the EIA’s base-case forecast for this winter.

Meanwhile, in the outlook for other fuels, average heating oil expenditures are expected to increase 19 percent from last winter – the highest level ever for those households, EIA reports. Natural gas households will experience a 15 percent increase in expenditures and electricity a 5 percent rise. Heating oil and natural gas prices are projected to rise 2 percent and 1 percent, respectively, while electricity prices are projected to decrease 2 percent.

View the entire EIA report here.

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About the Author:

Kevin Yanik was a senior editor at LP Gas Magazine.

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