August 25, 2008

Record Heating Bills Expected This Winter

Costs of heating oil, natural gas and electricity in the United States are expected to hit record highs this winter, a U.S. government report says.

If government predictions come true, homeowners will spend $22 billion more to heat their homes this winter than they did last year, USA Today says, quoting experts' figures.

The biggest increases await heating oil customers, a 36.3-percent leap, predicts the Energy Information Administration, the non-partisan statistical arm of the U.S. Energy Department. That's a jump over the 2007 bill of $2,644.

Homeowners with natural gas, the most popular heating source in the nation, will pay $1,059, a 23.8-percent increase, according to the EIA forecast.

The EIA's projections are based on government meteorologists' expectations for a winter that's colder than last year but warmer than the average seen from 1971 to 2000.