U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Weatherization & Intergovernmental Program
EIA: Heating Costs to Soar This Winter
October 19, 2005
The energy industry's continued recovery from hurricanes Katrina and
Rita, tight global supplies of oil, and a colder winter than last
year's will drive up heating costs significantly this winter,
according to DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA). On
average, households heated with natural gas will spend about
48 percent more this winter on their heating bills, while households
using heating oil will pay 32 percent more, those heating with propane
will pay 30 percent more, and those heating with electricity will pay
about 5 percent more. Meanwhile, crude oil prices are expected to
average nearly $65 per barrel through 2006, keeping retail prices for
regular unleaded gasoline at about $2.45 per gallon. See the
EIA press release
and the Short Term Energy Outlook.
In light of the tight energy supplies and projected energy costs,
DOE kicked off the "Easy Ways to Save Energy" campaign on October 3rd.
Since then, top DOE officials have visited Delaware, Kentucky,
Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Ohio to spread
the word. See the recent DOE press releases.
Meanwhile, recovery efforts are proceeding in the Gulf Coast region,
with only 65 percent of oil production and 53 percent of natural gas
production shut-in in the Gulf of Mexico as of October 18th, according to
the Minerals Management Service (MMS). DOE reports that all but one
of the affected refineries are now operating, restarting, or trying to
restart. The latest DOE status reports also tally the offshore
infrastructure damage from the hurricanes and provide detailed
information about natural gas pipelines. See the MMS and DOE reports.