ACHRNEWS

Sept. 13, 2005: DOE Says Winter Heating Season Could Be Expensive

September 13, 2005
WASHINGTON - According to the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Energy Information Administration (EIA), "dramatic increases in domestic energy costs, assisted by everything from tight world oil markets, to blistering summer heat, to the ravages of Hurricane Katrina, have made for an exasperating summer for many consumers and have set the stage for a potentially expensive winter heating season beginning a month or two from now."

Looking at projections from the EIA's latest Short-Term Energy Outlook, domestic expenditures for energy for the summer (April through September) are expected to show the following changes from 2004: petroleum: +35 percent; natural gas: +20 percent; coal: +21 percent. Summer expenditures by all consumers on electricity are expected to be up 5 percent for that period.

The current outlook for the upcoming winter (October 2005 through March 2006) shows energy expenditures as follows: petroleum: +34 percent; natural gas: +52 percent; coal: +16 percent. Electricity expenditures for the winter are expected to be up 11 percent. For all of 2005, energy expenditures in the United States are expected to be approximately 24 percent above the 2004 level.

However, with Hurricane Katrina's full impact on near-term domestic oil and natural gas supply still being assessed, the EAI says the fuel price outlook for the upcoming winter remains particularly uncertain for now.

Publication date: 09/12/2005