WASHINGTON - The average heating bills for U.S. households will be 15 percent higher this winter compared to last winter, according to the latest projections from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The EIA’s Short-Term Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook expects higher fuel costs to cause most of the increase, although colder weather will also contribute to the increase in many areas. As has been the recent trend, those using heating oil will suffer most, with a 23 percent increase this winter, helped in part by an expected colder winter in the Northeast. Those using natural gas for heating will experience an 18 percent increase in heating costs, while those using propane and electricity will face the smallest impacts, with increases of 11 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

However, national averages hide some regional impacts, as a colder winter and rising power prices in the South are expected to cause a 16 percent cost increase for those using propane and a 59 percent cost increase for those using electricity.

Publication date:10/13/2008