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Business Briefing / Energy

Lower heating costs expected

October 07, 2009|Times Wire Reports

An expected milder winter, along with lower fuel costs, should cut average residential heating expenditures 8% from last year, the Energy Information Administration said in its annual winter outlook.

People who heat with natural gas should do especially well, seeing their lowest bills in five years. But no matter what fuel is used, heating costs are expected to take less of a bite out of household budgets in the coming months -- from $20 to as much as $280 lower than last winter depending on what fuel is used, the government said.

The nearly 58 million households that use natural gas stand to save about $105 compared with last year, and propane users will get an even bigger break -- as much as $280. More modest reductions, $20 to $60, are expected for people who use electricity or fuel oil to heat their homes.

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