The federal government predicts that heating costs for private homes will rise sharply this winter


(CNN) – Americans should expect to spend more money on heating their homes this year – especially if it’s a very cold winter.

Compared to last winter, households will spend 54% more on propane, 43% more on heating oil, 30% more on natural gas and 6% more on electric heating, the US Energy Information Administration said in a new report on Wednesday.

The EIA expects residential heating bills to increase across the country, for all heating fuels and under a variety of weather conditions.

The forecast reflects an increase in energy costs, particularly for oil and natural gas. US oil prices recently closed above $ 80 a barrel for the first time since 2014. Natural gas, the most common fuel used to heat houses, has risen to prices not seen since 2008.

“As we have moved past the deepest part of the pandemic-induced economic downturn, energy demand growth has generally outpaced supply growth,” said incumbent EIA administrator Steve Nalley in a statement. “This dynamic is causing energy prices to rise worldwide.”

The energy sticker shock is even more extreme overseas, especially in Europe where natural gas prices have skyrocketed.

The situation is compounded by predictions for cooler temperatures than usual. The EIA noted that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expects a slightly colder winter this year than last year – and that, in turn, will drive up energy consumption.

“US households will spend even more if the weather is colder than expected,” said the EIA report.

Americans are already struggling with sticker shock. Consumer prices rose 5.4% year over year in September, a government report on Wednesday showed. This is an acceleration from July and is the fastest increase since 2008. Energy prices rose nearly 25% over the past year, including a 42% increase for gasoline and a 21% increase for utility gas services.

The CNN Wire
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