Report: Home heating bills will be slightly lower this winter |

Report: Home heating bills will be slightly lower this winter

Stephen Huba
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Mark Latshaw & Son Home Heating Oil makes a delivery to a customer in Hempfield in 2017.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration is predicting a cheaper winter when it comes to home heating bills.

The agency said households that primarily use electricity or natural gas as their heating source can expect to spend slightly less than last winter. Households that use heating oil can expect to spend 4% less, while households that use propane can expect to spend 16% less.

Only natural gas bills in the South are likely to rise significantly — by about 4% — primarily as a result of higher regional natural gas prices, EIA said.

The predictions are based on fuel price and consumption forecasts from the administration’s Winter Fuels Outlook and weather forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Fuel expenditures in the Winter Fuels Outlook reflect consumption and the resulting bills for all uses of energy in the household — not just heating. This approach contributes to the differences in expected expenditures across fuels.

The Winter Fuels Outlook considers adequacy of stored energy at the beginning of the winter season. Natural gas storage has seen a significant rebound in the United States over the past year, EIA said.

EIA does not expect significant supply disruptions or price fluctuations for home heating oil this winter.

Last week, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission announced it had approved rate increases for customers of Peoples Natural Gas and Equitable Gas Co.

Under the settlement, the average monthly bill for a residential Peoples customer will increase by 7.5% — or $5.60 — and the average monthly bill for an Equitable customer will increase by 12.8% — or $9.05.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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