Most U.S. households can expect higher heating expenditures this winter (October through March) than the last two winters according to EIA's Winter Fuels Outlook. Higher expected winter heating expenditures are the result of both more heating demand because of relatively colder weather and, to a lesser extent, higher fuel prices.
EIA’s projections of heating demand are based on the most recent temperature forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA’s forecast anticipates that winter weather will be 13% colder than last winter and closer to the average of the previous 10 winters.
Because weather patterns present great uncertainty to winter energy forecasts, EIA's Winter Fuels Outlook includes projections for 10% colder and 10% warmer scenarios. In the past 10 winters, actual temperatures have been more than 10% colder than NOAA’s September forecast once and warmer than the forecast twice.