With the summer-like temperatures hitting much of the country, it may be hard for some Americans to start thinking about their winter energy costs. But Guy Caruso, administrator for the Energy Information Administration (EIA) delivered his annual winter energy and fuel outlook on Tuesday (10/09) that has many Americans paying more this winter to heat their homes.
Caruso said with crude oil prices already elevated, and projected higher-than-normal cost for natural gas, Americans could see a 10 percent increase in heating costs this winter.
Caruso adds, "In the case of crude oil we're looking at about $20 a barrel more this winter than last winter. Both of those combined along with higher natural gas prices to about a 10 percent on average higher expenditures expected for this winter."
Those at the highest risk of paying more are homeowners who use heating oil as opposed to natural gas or electricity. Use of heating oil is most commonly found in the northeastern part of the country.
Caruso said a $76 per barrel projection for crude oil this winter may
translate into a $.40 increase per gallon for the consumer.
According to Caruso, "A $76 projection for crude oil this winter is about $ 17 above last winter and that's close to $.40 - roughly $.40 - per gallon when you convert that crude oil cost to the cost of the refiner and to the final user, in this case of heating oil."
But there is some good news. Caruso said there are sufficient reserves of natural gas if it turns out to be a colder winter than predicted."In our view that even in a 10 percent colder than normal winter we would still have sufficient natural gas in storage to get us through the wintertime in very good shape."