The Price of Staying Warm

Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 8:43am

Winter heating costs expected to rise this year.

Earlier this week a blanket of white over parts of Colorado left little question winter is on the way, and as snow begins to fall the price of heating could be headed up.

According to the US Energy Information Administration the average household will spend $986 dollars on heating, $24 more than last year.

The average cost of natural gas is expected to rise about $27.

Heating oil, meanwhile, is expected to go up $220, or 12 percent.

Homes heated with propane could see prices rise by $136.

Electricity, however, will likely fall $18 from last season.

Of course, the cost of heat also depends on the temperature outside.

"We're thinking we're going to have an La Nina pattern here in the eastern Pacific and that typically means warmer, drier conditions across the South, cooler weather across the Northwest and typically average everywhere else," says the Weather Channel's Adam Berg.

Average in the Northeast would be colder than the somewhat mild winter some far northern cities saw last year, so expect higher costs there too.

There is still time to take advantage of tax breaks for energy efficient improvements like windows or new heating systems.

Last year a five billion dollar federal heating assistance program helped almost nine million families.

Proposals for similar programs are in Congress now.

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