Winter WARNING

October 19, 2022

Winter WARNING

 

Though natural gas prices have fallen recently, this year's spike related to Russia's war on Ukraine will still mean higher household heating bills for Americans this winter.

The big picture: The Energy Information Administration forecasts that households using natural gas as their primary home heating fuel — nearly half of all households — will see their average winter heating costs rise 28% this year to $931.

  • Home heating oil users — just 4% of households, primarily in the Northeast— will feel a similar sting, with heating bills up 27% to $2,354 this winter.

State of play: U.S. natural gas prices have tumbled in recent days, to below $6 per million British thermal units, as a warm October and maintenance-related shutdowns of LNG export terminals boosted domestic supplies.

  • But, but, but: U.S. wholesale natural gas prices are still up 68% so far this year.

What to watch: These energy costs — largely attributable to disruption and uncertainty related to Russia's attack on Ukraine — are going to be a headache for politicians and policymakers trying to control inflation.

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