EIA: oilheat users will spend less this winter

By Ron Kotrba | September 18, 2009
Posted October 6, 2009

Lower energy prices and milder winter forecast compared to last year has led the Energy Information Administration to predict that households will spend less on heat during the upcoming cold season.

Between Oct. 1 and March 31, EIA projects an average household heating expense of $960, 8 percent below last year's heating expense. Households using natural gas or propane for heat are expected to fare the best, with expenditure decreases of 12 percent to 14 percent compared to last winter.

Users of heating oil, which represent 7 percent of households nationwide, will spend about $40 less this winter than last year. The highest concentration of oilheat consumers in the United States is in the Northeast, and EIA predicts a per-gallon average price of $2.64, 2 cents less than the average price last year. During the winter of 2007-08, Northeast residents paid an average of $3.31 a gallon.

In September, the oilheat industry committed to supporting green measures, including a minimum bio content of 2 percent in all heating oil sold by July 2010.
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