EIA releases winter fuels outlook

By Staff | November 24, 2014

The U.S. EIA has released its short-term energy and winter fuels outlook, which predicts that homeowners will enjoy overall lower heating expenditures this winter. Prices, however, for natural gas are expected to be up 6 percent, with electricity prices in the Midwest expected to be 4 percent higher. Electricity prices in the Northeast are predicted to be up 2 percent. Lower prices will be paid for propane and heating oil, and users can expect to see bills 27 and 15 percent lower, respectively.

The report indicates that while there are no readily available sources for estimating wood consumption or prices at the regional or national level, as of 2013, 2.5 million U.S. households use wood as a primary heating fuel, a 38 percent increase since 2004. About 8 percent of households use wood as a secondary source of heat, making wood second only to electricity as a supplemental heating fuel. New England’s wood home heating percentage is nearly twice the national rate at 20 percent, or 1.1 million homes, according to the report, and is mainly used in rural households.