EIA Expects Most U.S. Households Will Pay Less for Heating this Winter

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects U.S. households that heat with natural gas or are in the West will spend less on heating costs this winter than last winter. In its 2023 Winter Fuels Outlook, EIA forecasts residential natural gas prices this winter will be about 21% lower than last winter. Natural gas is the most common source of heat for U.S. households.

“Natural gas prices this year have been consistently lower than in 2022. Even if this winter is colder than forecast, we still expect households heated by natural gas to pay less for heat this winter,” said EIA Administrator Joe DeCarolis.

Costs for households heating with propane and electricity are likely to remain relatively flat. For homes that use heating oil, EIA expects that heating expenses will be somewhat higher this winter. Warmer-than- or colder-than-expected temperatures could affect heating oil costs

The United States typically consumes more heating fuels than it produces during the winter, so inventories become an important factor in commodity prices. Heading into this winter heating season, inventories for most heating fuels in most of the country are above the five-year average, following a relatively mild end to the 2022–2023 winter. EIA expects U.S. natural gas inventories will end October 6% above the five-year average, and propane stocks are currently 17% above the five-year average.