US predicts less oppressive heating bills this winter, saying repeat of deepfreeze unlikely

Energy Associated Press

It probably won't cost as much to stay warm this winter because a repeat of the deep freeze that kept much of the nation shivering last winter is so unlikely.

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The Energy Department's annual prediction of winter heating costs released Tuesday says that Americans won't have to crank up the heat as much, so they'll pay less for energy.

Demand for some fuels last year sent prices skyrocketing.

The Energy Department predicts that natural gas customers will see bills fall for the October-to-March heating season to $649, from $680 last year. Electric customers will pay $938, down from $955. Heating oil customers will pay $1,992 on average, $362 less than last year. Propane customers in the Midwest will pay $1,500, a savings of $767.