Heating costs are set to soar this winter
No matter how you heat your home, the cost of that heat is likely to skyrocket, according to a the forecasts Wednesday from the Energy Information Administration.
Based on current fuel price estimates if, as expected, a slightly colder winter is expected, the EIA estimates that heating a home with natural gas heating costs will increase by about $200 in average, or 28% to reach $931 for the winter.
Still, that’s not as bad as fuel oil costs, which are expected to jump $1,200, or 27%, to $2,354. Electric heat costs could rise $123, or 10%, to $1,359, while propane heat costs are expected to rise $80, or 5%, to $1,688.
Keep in mind that in many cases these increases are on top of even higher percentage increases from a year ago. For example, heating oil costs jumped more than 50% for the winter last year. Consumers using fuel oil can expect to pay nearly double what they paid for winter 2020-21.
Nearly half of the country’s homes use natural gas to heat their homes and about 40% use electricity. But 80% of homes using electric heat are in the South and West, which require less heat than the Midwest or Northeast. Fuel oil is used in only 4% of households in the country, almost all of them in the northeast.
Cost estimates are based in part on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s weather forecast, which predicts an increase of about 6% in the number of heating days required, weighted by population. Whether this winter turns out to be colder than expected, the cost of heating could increase significantly.
For example, a winter 10% colder than the base scenario forecast would increase natural gas heating costs by $370, or 51%, rather than the $200 increase in the base scenario, according to the EIA. But if the winter is 10% colder than expected, that would save those using gas heating around $70 on the projected $200 increase.