WASHINGTON - A cold December boosted the energy demand for heating and kept fuel prices high, according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Due to the higher energy usage and elevated costs, EIA now projects that households heating with natural gas will see an 11 percent increase in heating costs compared to last winter, and those heating with propane and electricity will see increases of 7 percent and 2 percent, respectively, compared to last year.

Households heating with heating oil will see a slight decrease in heating costs, about 1 percent lower than last year's costs.

Publication date: 02/23/2004