Oct. 13 (Reuters) – U.S. consumers will spend more on heating their homes this winter than last year due to soaring energy prices, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicted in its winter outlook on Wednesday. fuels.
Energy prices have risen sharply around the world, causing blackouts in major economies like China and India.
The United States has so far not seen the same effect, although prices for fuels ranging from natural gas to heating oil have reached multi-year highs and will affect household finances as the weather cools.
While we have gone beyond what we believe to be the deepest part of the pandemic economic downturn, growth in energy demand has generally outpaced growth in supply, the administrator said. EIA Acting Steve Nalley in the statement.
“These dynamics are increasing energy prices around the world.”
Nearly half of U.S. households depend on natural gas for heat, with the average cost of these homes expected to rise 30% to $ 746 for the October-March period from the same period a year earlier, the US Department of Energy statistical service said.
The average cost of a natural gas home last winter was $ 573, much cheaper than other major heat sources. Natural gas prices have risen sharply in recent months due to shortages in places like China and Europe, where demand has rebounded after the pandemic. The United States can only export a small portion of its natural gas supply due to limited terminal space for the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Electricity is the main source of heat for around 40% of homes. It’s more expensive than natural gas at about $ 1,268 per household this winter – but that’s a more modest 6% increase from last winter.
Fewer than 12 million American homes depend on fuel oil or propane – about 9% of the roughly 129 million American homes – but they will be the hardest hit. These costs are expected to increase by 54% and 43% respectively, according to the EIA, compared to last winter.
Changes in the price of fuel oil and propane are passed on to consumers much more quickly. Homes that depend on heating oil are concentrated in the northeastern United States, and the largest users of propane are in the upper Midwestern and Northern Plains states.
Last year, energy prices plunged to multi-year lows due to the destruction of demand for the coronavirus, particularly natural gas, the most popular heating fuel in the United States, which reached a low 25-year hollow.
Depending on where people live, the EIA said residential costs would reach around $ 11 to $ 14 per thousand cubic feet (mcf) for natural gas, around $ 2.50 to $ 3.50 per gallon. for propane and $ 3.39 per gallon for fuel oil.
This compares to residential costs last winter of about $ 8 to $ 12 per mcf for natural gas, $ 1.50 to $ 2.50 per gallon for propane and $ 2.55 per gallon for heating oil.
Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Andrew Heavens, Jonathan Oatis, Marguerita Choy, Aurora Ellis and Jan Harvey
Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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