he U.S. Energy Information Administration is predicting that winter energy bills will be easier on the pocketbook this winter. With NOAA forecasting a warmer set of temperatures for the U.S. And a reduction in costs for fuel bills, EIA says that consumers will see lowered costs from their winter heating.
ShaMyra Sylvester of EIA’s Washington bureau explains: ” The U.S. Energy Information Administration is forecasting that average U.S. household electricity bills will decrease slightly in the coming winter months when compared with last year’s winter. The forecast from the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration calls for warmer temperatures this winter and, as a result, EIA expects that U.S. households will consume less energy. In October, EIA published its annual Winter Fuels Outlook as part of its Short-Term Energy Outlook. EIA expects that decreased expenditures for propane, natural gas, heating oil, and electricity will all contribute to an average drop in U.S. household spending this coming winter. The lower expected fuels bills result mostly from warmer forecast temperatures but, for some fuels, lower prices will also reduce bills. EIA expects propane retail prices to be 10% lower than last winter in the Northeast part of the country and 12% lower in the Midwest. In the South, EIA does expect a 4% increase in winter heating bills for houses using natural gas. EIA’s seasonal outlooks depend heavily on weather forecasts. The Winter Fuels Outlook will fluctuate with changes in the weather forecast and realized weather patterns that deviate from the forecast.”
Last year, according to Department of Energy research estimated 2018 heating costs for last winter for a residential customer using the average amount of fuel for each particular fuel type will be: $983 for natural gas; $2,359 for heating oil; $1,808 for propane, and $803 for electric heating. According to EIA data from last year, the cost last year for homes was a 5% increase from 2017. With current temperature forecasting and reduced energy usage overall, EIA predicts that the costs this year will be much lower. For more information, visit EIA.gov.