With the winter of 2021-2022 weeks away, cold weather is inevitable; unfortunately, it appears epic, high heating costs are also in the forecast across the United States. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the U.S. Government unveiled an eye-opening, budget-busting forecast this week, calling for the highest winter heating bills in more than 15 years.
In their Winter Fuels Outlook for October 2021, the EIA says they expect half of U.S. households that heat primarily with natural gas will spend 30% more than they spent last winter on average. And if the winter turns out to be 10% colder than average, those heating costs will rise to 50% above last year’s amounts. At the least, last year’s average home-heating bill of $573 from last year will skyrocket to $746 this coming winter. If even colder weather materializes, those costs will rise over $900 per household.
Those that heat their house electrically will also see high prices. “We expect the 41% of U.S. households that heat primarily with electricity will spend 6% more; 15% more in a colder winter,” the EIA forecast says.
Households that are heated with propane will see the highest rises. 5% of U.S. households that use propane to heat their homes will spend 54% more; that number climbs to 94% more –nearly double– what was paid last year if a colder winter materializes in the U.S..
Those that heat with home heating oil aren’t off the hook either. According to the EIA forecast, 4% of U.S. households that depend on heating oil will spend 43% more; that number grows to 59% more in a colder winter.
“Our expectation of a colder winter is based on forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA’s expectation is a key input to our energy consumption forecast and contributes to our expectation of increases in winter energy consumption,” the EIA said in a forecast statement. The EIA defines the winter energy consumption season as October through March.
The expected hike in prices is the result of a combination of factors: White House energy policies, surging demand for energy as the world leaves a global pandemic, and colder than normal forecast winter conditions.
“As we have moved beyond what we expect to be the deepest part of the pandemic-related economic downturn, growth in energy demand has generally outpaced growth in supply,” EIA Acting Administrator Steve Nalley said in a statement. “These dynamics are raising energy prices around the world.”
In addition to heating expenses, other energy related expenses are skyrocketing too. Over the past 12 months, energy prices have surged nearly 25%, with gasoline spiking 42% higher and utility gas service jumping 21%.