The United States winter heating outlook projects that the coming season will be about 18 percent colder than last year, a prediction that the Energy Information Administration says will boost natural gas heating bills, as well as the cost of home heating oil, electricity, and propane.
For households that rely on home heating oil, the agency, an arm of the U.S. Department of Energy, estimated that the average expenditure for the fuel could reach record levels.
The bills for heating a home with natural gas this winter (October through March) are expected to be up nearly 14 percent; heating oil, up 17 percent; electricity, up 8 percent; and propane, up 17 percent — according to EIA’s Short-Term Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook for the 2012-2013.
In New Jersey, where more than three-quarters of homes are heated by natural gas, the outlook is not as bleak. The state’s four gas utilities all are expecting a drop in utility bills, by as much as 3.6 percent in the case of Public Service Electric & Gas, which has 1.9 million customers.
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