Get Ready to Pay More for Heat This Winter
Life and Leisure

Get Ready to Pay More for Heat This Winter

REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Colder temperatures and higher fuel costs will raise the average homeowner’s heating bill this winter.

Analysts at U.S. Energy Information Administration estimate that the average household using heating oil will pay 38 percent more than last winter. Costs will go up 26 percent for propane, 22 percent for natural gas and 5 percent for electricity.

Even with the increase, however, heating costs will remain lower than the historic norm, according to the new EIA report.

Heating Days

In addition to an uptick in prices for most energy sources, the expenditure forecast anticipates a 3 percent increase over last year in the number of days that a homeowner would likely use heat. Last year’s winter was 15 percent warmer than the 10-year national average.

Related: How to Cut Your Heating Bill Without Freezing Your Tail Off

Temperatures are projected to be colder across most of the country this winter, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expecting average temperatures to be 17 percent lower in the Northeast and Midwest, and 18 percent colder in the South. Average temperatures in the West are expected to increase 2 percent over last year.

Even if temperatures are a bit warmer than expected, heating bills will still go up because of rising fueling costs.

Regardless of what the temperature does outside, you can trim your home heating costs by being more efficient about how you use your heater. Check the caulking around your doors and windows to make sure the cold air isn’t leaking in from outside, and install a programmable thermostat that can automatically adjust when you’re not home.