(Reuters) – Most U.S. consumers will spend about the same or less than they did last year to heat their homes this winter, depending on where they live and what fuel they use, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its winter fuels outlook on Wednesday.
EIA forecast the 46% of U.S. households that use natural gas as their main heating fuel will likely spend less on heating this winter than last year because gas prices will likely be lower.
With temperatures in the western U.S. expected to be warmer than the previous winter, EIA projected households in the West, regardless of fuel, would likely spend less on heating this winter than last, which was much colder than normal.
Combined, households that heat with gas and those that are in the West account for a total of 56% of all U.S. households, EIA said.
Because average demand for heating fuels in the winter exceeds U.S. production, EIA said inventories were an important source of winter supply.
Both gas and propane inventories were above the five-year (2018–2022) average going into the winter, EIA said, but noted that distillate fuel, which includes heating oil, was “well below” the five-year average.
The 60.1 million U.S. households burning gas as their primary heating fuel can expect to spend about $601 to heat their homes this winter, down about 21% from last winter, EIA projected.
For a list of total heating costs by fuel, see:
Fuel U.S. Household Heating U.S. Household Heating U.S. Households as
Costs in 2023-2024 Costs in 2022-2023 of October 2023
Natural Gas $601 $760 60,088,000
Electricity $1,063 $1,080 55,730,000
Propane $1,343 $1,380 6,513,000
Heating Oil $1,851 $1,720 4,789,000
Total U.S. Households
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by David Gregorio)