Energy bills to rise this winter for propane-heated homes

October 8, 2013 By    

Temperatures across the United States this winter are expected to be on par with last year’s temperatures. But higher fuel bills are anticipated for homes that heat with propane, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports in its Short-Term Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook. EIA anticipates residential expenditures to be 9 percent higher for propane-heated homes this winter.

Forecasted propane expenditures are higher than last winter’s in part because of higher propane prices, EIA says. According to EIA, the average price today compared with last winter’s is 10 percent higher in the Midwest and 7 percent higher in the Northeast. Price changes in the South and West are not available because EIA measures propane expenditures as a volume-weighted average of the Midwest and Northeast only. Consumption is expected to be down 1 percent in the Midwest this winter, while consumption in the Northeast is forecasted to grow 3 percent.

EIA also analyzes the propane supply scene in its outlook. Inventories will remain near the middle of their historical range during the upcoming winter. Last year, inventories were expected to remain near the high end of their historical range under EIA’s base-case forecast for the winter.

Like propane, EIA expects higher fuel bills this winter for homes that heat with natural gas and electricity. Homes that heat primarily with natural gas are expected to spend 13 percent more this winter, while those relying on electricity for heat will experience a 2 percent hike. EIA reports homes that heat with heating oil will experience a 2 percent drop in their expenditures.

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