Average American families will spend $1,137 this winter to heat their homes, a 15-percent increase from last winter, according to the Energy Information Administration. The increase primarily reflects higher prices, especially for heating oil and natural gas.
But colder weather will also contribute to higher fuel use in many areas, and the specific increases will vary by region and type of fuel.
Natural Gas: Households heating primarily with natural gas are expected to spend an average of $155 (18 percent) more this winter. Nationwide, about 52 percent of all households depend on natural gas as their primary heating fuel.
Heating Oil: Households heating primarily with heating oil can expect to pay an average of $449 (23 percent) more this winter. Only 7 percent of US households depend on heating oil for winter fuel and most of these households are in the Northeast, where 31 percent of households use heating oil as their primary space heating fuel.
Propane: Households heating primarily with propane can expect to pay an average of $188 (11 percent) more this winter. About 6 percent of American homes are heated with propane.
Electricity: Households heating primarily with electricity can expect to pay an average of $89 (10 percent) more. Thirty-five percent of all US households rely on electricity as their primary heating fuel, ranging from 12 percent in the Northeast to 59 percent in the South.