The Energy Information Administration on Wednesday forecast that U.S. households that primarily use natural gas to heat their homes will likely spend an average of $746 this winter, which runs from October to March, up 30% from the amount they spent last winter. Natural-gas futures have more than doubled so far this year, with an energy shortage in Europe and Asia contributing to tight supplies for the fuel. The increase in natural gas expenditures "comes from both higher expected prices and higher expected consumption," the EIA said in its Winter Fuels Outlook report. Households that primarily use heating oil will spend an average $1,734, up 43% from last winter, the EIA said. Households that primarily use electricity to heat their homes will spend an average $1,268 this winter on electricity bills, up 6% from last winter, the EIA said, adding that nearly two-thirds of homes in the South heat primarily with electricity. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, November natural gas traded at $5.408 per million British thermal units, down 9.7 cents, or 1.8%, in Wednesday dealings, but up more than 90% year to date, FactSet data show.
-Myra P. Saefong
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
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