Heating bills in the United States are expected to skyrocket this winter, as global prices for natural gas, fuel oil and other fossil fuels rise.
Winter is approaching and American consumers had better prepare for a steep increase in heating bills. That was the message from the US Energy Information Agency.
“As we head into winter 2021-2022, retail energy prices are reaching or approaching multi-year highs in the United States,” the EIA said on Wednesday in its latest short-term energy outlook. “We expect households across the United States to spend more on energy this winter compared to previous winters because of these higher energy prices and because we are assuming a slightly colder winter than the last year in much of the United States. ”
The numbers are grim for households that are already struggling to make ends meet and now have to contend with soaring costs for natural gas, electricity, fuel oil and propane.
Households that depend primarily on natural gas for heating, nearly half of the United States, are expected to spend 30% more on average on heating this winter. If temperatures are 10 percent cooler than average this winter, they could see their heating bills soar by 50 percent or more.
The roughly 40 percent of U.S. households that stay warm on electricity are expected to spend 6 percent more on average this winter, and 15 percent more if temperatures are colder than average.
The 5 percent of American households that depend on propane are really in sticker shock. They could see their heating bills skyrocket by 54% on average this winter, and could end up paying 94% more if the winter is colder.
The 4 percent of households that use fuel oil are expected to pay 43 percent more this winter than last winter, and 59 percent more in a colder winter.
The EIA defines the winter heating season from October to March. Its forecast for a colder winter is based on forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Soaring heating bills promise to hurt American households even more, especially low-income ones who also face higher costs for other essentials like food and shelter.
US consumer prices rose 0.4% in September after rising 0.3% the month before, the US Department of Labor said on Wednesday.
Inflation has become a hallmark of economic recoveries in the United States and around the world since last year’s COVID lockdowns, fueled by a combination of demand stimulation, supply chain bottlenecks and shortages of raw materials.
These forces have raised prices for businesses, many of which then pass on to consumers.