This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

December 12, 2007

EIA: High Oil Prices to Impact Heating Bills for Fuel Oil and Propane

High oil prices are not only driving up the price for gasoline, but will also cause more pain for those using fuel oil and propane for heating this winter, according to DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA). The daily spot price for crude oil peaked at $99.16 per barrel in late November, and although it has fallen since then, the EIA expects oil prices to remain "high and volatile" through 2008. As a result, the EIA's "Short-Term Energy Outlook," released on December 11th, projects both gasoline and diesel fuel prices to average "well over $3 per gallon" in 2008, with gasoline prices peaking at $3.40 per gallon in the spring.

But the hardship will be greatest for those using heating oil this winter, as they're expected to shell out a total of $1,955 for heating, a 33% increase over last year's expenditures. Households heated with propane are expected to pay $1,629 for heating, on average, a 20.7% increase over last year. And those living in the Northeast and using these fuels will suffer the most, with heating oil bills averaging $2,012 for the winter and propane heating bills averaging $2,301. On the bright side, households heating with natural gas will spend only 6.5% more on average, for a total of $865, while people with all-electric homes will pay 1.9% more, for a total of $838. The EIA includes the full heating season in its projections, from October 1st through March 31st. See the EIA's "Short-Term Energy Outlook" and the supplemental table on heating expenditures (PDF 14 KB). Download Adobe Reader.

Features