Slowly but surely, the temperatures have been dropping and it’s finally starting to feel like December weather. While the cold is great for the holiday vibe, it’s not so great for the wallet, and many homeowners are wondering what kind of energy rates they’ll expect to see this winter. Our heating service company dove into some of the most recent energy news (and stats from eia.gov) to find out.
When it comes to heating, oil is the least popular energy source for homes in the Northeast. Oil prices can fluctuate much more than other energy prices, so it tends to cost a great deal more to heat a home. However, if you’re among the few homes that do use oil, there’s some good news – oil prices have dropped to their lowest in years. Right now, the average price of oil per gallon is about half of what it was last year, so if prices stay down, you can expect to pay a decent amount less.
As the second-most popular type of heat source for Northeastern homes, electricity costs are usually pretty predictable for the winter months. Over the past four years, the average price of electricity has stayed within a few cents, and this year is predicted to be the same. The good news, though, is that meteorologists are estimating this winter’s temperatures to be warmer than last year’s, so you can expect to pay about the same amount or less for your heat.
Natural Gas Customers
Though natural gas and electricity are nearly equal when it comes to overall U.S. consumption, it’s become the number-one energy choice for heat here in the Northeast. Over the past several years, natural gas prices have slowly declined due to increased production and this year, the decline is expected to continue. However, this decline doesn’t necessarily mean a lower average heating price for homeowners, since heating rates can be set a year or more in advance by utilities. But again, the good news is that this winter’s temperatures are said to be lower and in turn, that means a lower consumption of natural gas and a lower cost.