In its monthly update to its Winter Fuels Outlook, EIA expects that winter heating prices for U.S. households will stay flat or decrease this season, dependent on the households’ regions and the main fuels they use for heating.
“This winter, we expect temperatures in the western United States to be warmer than the previous winter, which was much colder than average,” EIA reported. “As a result, households in the West, regardless of fuel, will likely spend less on heating this winter compared with last winter. Combined, households that heat with natural gas and those that are in the West account for a total of 56% of all U.S. households.”
EIA expects that homes that heat primarily with electricity to spend about the same on heating as they did last winter, while homes using heating oil are forecasted to be up compared to last year unless winter ends up warmer than expected. Propane-heated homes could see a dip in costs.
“In our base temperature case, we expect spending by homes heating primarily with propane will decrease slightly, but expenditures for homes using propane will vary significantly based on region and actual weather outcomes,” said EIA.
According to EIA, there are three main factors that will determine household spending: household characteristics, weather and energy prices. Expenditures will be dependent on the size and energy efficiency of the homes, heating equipment and thermostats, and weather conditions. Winter weather is also expected to be varied across the country, with a slightly colder winter in the East and a warmer winter in the West — causing expenditure variations by region.