The cost of heating oil is expected to open lower at the start of sales this year compared to last, thanks to the continued drop in worldwide oil prices.
“If winter temperatures come in as expected by USA government weather forecasters, US consumers will pay less to stay warm this winter no matter what heating fuel they use”, said Adam Sieminski, administrator of the EIA.
Natural gas users will spend an average of $578 on heating costs, or $64 less than last winter, EIA said.
The company doesn’t mark up rates, but the price is impacted by a variety of factors including how much supply the company has, how much it “hedges” future prices and how much it buys on the open market.
In the Midwest, heating costs for homeowners using heating oil will be down 15%, while costs for homeowners relying on electricity for heat will be fall 3%, the agency said.
Heating will be cheaper this winter. It predicts savings of $459 per home at a cost of $1,392 to heat this winter.
Propane costs for the average home using that fuel as a primary heating source will be about $322 lower at $1,437.
Electricity is the primary heating fuel in the South and is used extensively by consumer-members of the nation’s electric cooperatives. If the forecast holds, homes using electricity for heat will pay $930, $30 less than past year.
Meteorologists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are forecasting winter temperatures 13 percent warmer in the Northeast, 11 percent warmer in the Midwest and 8 percent warmer in the South. Heating oil prices were at a 10-year low in the most recent survey by the state of Maine.
And those forecasts are based on a normal winter, so savings could be even higher if a warmer winter develops, as many expect.