(Reuters) -U.S. consumers can expect to pay up to 28% more to heat their homes this winter than last year due to surging fuel costs and slightly colder weather, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projected in its winter fuels outlook on Wednesday.
Nearly half of U.S. households rely on natural gas for heat, with the average winter heating cost expected to rise to $931, up by 28% from last year, EIA said.
The average cost to heat a home with gas last winter was $724, far cheaper than other major sources of heat.
U.S. gas prices at the Henry Hub benchmark were up about 75% this year as soaring global prices feed demand for U.S. exports due to supply disruptions and sanctions linked to Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine. [NGA/]
Electricity is the primary heating source for about 40% of homes. It is more expensive than gas at an estimated $1,359 per household this winter – but that is just a 10% increase from last winter.
Less than 12 million homes rely on heating oil or propane – about 9% of the roughly 130 million U.S. households – but those fuels will remain the most expensive sources of heat this winter with cost increases of 27% to $2,354 for heating oil and 5% to $1,668 for propane.
Homes that rely on heating oil are concentrated in the Northeast, while the biggest propane users are in the Midwest.
EIA said residential costs will rise to $15.95 per thousand cubic feet (mcf) for gas, $2.32-$3.45 per gallon for propane, 14.8 cents per kilowatt-hour (kwh) of electricity and $4.54 per gallon for heating oil.
That compares with last winter’s residential costs of $13.02/mcf for gas, $2.30-3.33 per gallon for propane, 14.0 cents per kWh of electricity and $3.90 per gallon for heating oil.
(Reporting by Scott DiSavinoEditing by Marguerita Choy and Nick Zieminski)