Does October's chilly weather have you turning on the heat, or at least looking at the thermostat?
Then you might be interested in the Government's just released report that predicts higher heating bills this winter for most homeowners.
The US Department of Energy, apparently not affected by he shutdown, predicts homes using natural gas will notice higher heating bills than last year, due to higher natural gas prices now.
However, if you heat with oil or electricity, you won't see much change.
If you heat with natural gas, as the majority of US homeowners do outside New England, expect to pay about 13 percent more this year, than in 2012, according to the DOE.
Natural gas is running around $13 per thousand cubic feet this fall, up from $12 last year (it varies based on your supplier).
That's still lower than the 5 year average, however. The past 2 years had unusually low natural gas rates, as result of the 2008 - 2010 recession, and lower demand. That pre-recession demand has returned.
Homeowners with electric heat should see a 2 percent increase over last year. The good news: you may not even notice a 2 percent difference.
Heating Oil and Propane
There is good news if you heat with fuel oil: Your bill should be 2 percent lower this winter, due to lower oil prices.
Heating oil is predicted to be in the $3.75 range for most of this fall, down from $3.97 last year. Of course, oil prices fluctuate the most, so that could change by December, if there is any shock to the markets.
Propane follows heating oil, so it should be lightly lower as well.
Bottom line: if you fill your tank now, you may be pleasantly surprised.
That way you don't waste your money.
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