October 10, 2018 / 12:54 PM / 2 months ago

U.S. heating costs likely to be higher this winter than last: EIA

(Reuters) - Most U.S. households should expect higher heating costs this winter (October through March) compared with last winter, according to the federal government’s Winter Fuels Outlook, which will be released in full at 11:00 a.m. (1500 GMT) on Wednesday.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a summary of the report that the increased costs are mainly the result of higher prices for heating fuels since temperatures are expected to be similar to last winter in much of the country.

The EIA said it based its heating demand projections on the most recent temperature forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA’s forecast anticipates the 2018–2019 winter will be 1 percent colder than last winter, which is close to the average of the previous 10 winters.

Expenditures for Midwest households using propane as their primary heating source are expected to decline because the Midwest, the region with the highest concentration of propane heating, is the only region expected to have warmer weather this winter, EIA said.

Natural gas is the most common space heating fuel in every U.S. region except the South, where electric heating is more prevalent. Heating oil is much more common in the Northeast than in other regions, while propane is more common in the Midwest.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Susan Thomas and Diane Craft

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